Bringing Loved Ones Together in the United States
Sean Juarez and Associates is dedicated to helping and assisting families through the sponsorship process, a process that allows families to reunite and build a future together in the US.
What is Family Sponsorship?
Family sponsorship is a legal process that allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, also known as green card holders, to bring their close relatives to live in the United States. By sponsoring a family member, you are essentially offering your support and guaranteeing that your loved one will not become a burden on the U.S. government.
Who Can Be Sponsored?
Under U.S. immigration law, there are different categories of family members who can be sponsored:
- Immediate Relatives: This category includes spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children under 21 years old, and parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old. Immediate relatives have the highest priority and are not subject to any numerical limitations.
- Family Preference Categories: These categories include unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years old) of U.S. citizens, spouses and unmarried children (any age) of lawful permanent residents, and married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. There are limited visa numbers available each year for these categories, which means there might be a waiting period before the sponsored family member can immigrate.
The Process of Family Sponsorship
Sponsoring a family member involves several steps, including:
- Filing a Petition: The first step is for the sponsoring U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on behalf of their family member. This petition establishes the relationship between the sponsor and the beneficiary and starts the immigration process.
- Visa Availability: For immediate relatives, there is generally no waiting period as there are no numerical limitations. However, for family preference categories, the availability of visas depends on the annual visa limits and the priority date, which is the date the petition was filed.
- Visa Application: Once a visa becomes available, the sponsored family member can apply for an immigrant visa or adjust their status to become a lawful permanent resident in the United States. This step involves submitting the necessary forms, supporting documents, and attending an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Medical Examination and Background Checks: As part of the immigration process, the sponsored family member will undergo a medical examination to ensure they meet the health requirements. Additionally, they will undergo background checks for security purposes.
- Approval and Entry to the United States: If all the requirements are met and the visa application is approved, the sponsored family member will receive their immigrant visa or a green card, allowing them to enter and live in the United States as a lawful permanent resident.
Benefits of Family Sponsorship
Family sponsorship holds numerous benefits, including:
- Reunification: Family sponsorship enables families to be together, promoting emotional support, stability, and a sense of belonging.
- Education and Employment Opportunities: Sponsored family members can pursue educational opportunities in the United States and seek employment to enhance their career prospects.
- Access to Healthcare and Social Services: Being a lawful permanent resident allows individuals to benefit from the healthcare system and social services available in the United States.
- Path to Citizenship: Lawful permanent residents can eventually apply for U.S. citizenship after meeting certain requirements