If you want to help your loved ones enter the United States, you will typically have to follow a very specific process related to family-based immigration. Depending on your status in the United States, there are certain people in your family that you can bring into the country.
For United States citizens, there are several potential family members that they can sponsor for family-based immigration. Even lawful permanent residents living in the United States have the option to bring certain family members into the country.
Looking at your immigration status and the relationship you share with the individuals you would like to help immigrate can give you a better idea of what options you have.
There are fewer restrictions on the options for current US citizens
If you are a United States citizen, there are substantially fewer restrictions on your rights to initiate family sponsored immigration when compared with the options available to Green Card holders, also known as lawful permanent residents.
In theory, there are no limits to the number of family members that you can bring to the country, at least when it comes to their spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents. An individual has no limits on the number of people they can sponsor, and there is no annual maximum number of visas for those with these specific relationships to American citizens.
Who can come to the country through the help of a lawful permanent resident?
If you hold a Green Card, you can potentially apply for your loved ones to enter the United States. Generally, only spouses and children can enter. Additionally, unlike family-based immigration for citizens, applicants for family-based immigration through lawful permanent residents will be subject to annual maximum visa limits. The same limits also apply to certain others with relationships to citizens, including siblings and married children.
If you need help with an immigration question, find out more about what an attorney can do for you and your family.