The answer is not straightforward. People can only sponsor their relatives
if they themselves are U.S. citizens or permanent residents (have a green
card). Then it depends on which relative they want to sponsor (the official
term is "petition"). Some family members are classified as
immediate relatives. These are the parents, spouse, and minor, unmarried children of U.S.
citizens. Preference relatives include the siblings and married or adult
children of U.S. citizens. The spouse and unmarried children of U.S. permanent
residents are also
preference relatives. A citizen or permanent resident cannot sponsor parents-in-law,
grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and other relatives.
The terms for relatives indicate a difference in how long it takes to get
a green card. An immediate relative does not have to wait. He or she can
apply immediately. Preference relatives have waiting periods of as much
as 4 to 23 years before they can even apply for their visas or green cards.
Though preference family members have a considerable wait, the good news
is that education and work records do not affect a person's eligibility.
Accompanying relatives may be eligible for green cards as well. For example,
if you have unmarried children younger than 21, they may be able to come
along with your spouse.
For a U.S. citizen to be able to petition for a family member to come to
the United States, there are further age requirements. A citizen has to
be at least 18 years old to sponsor a spouse or minor unmarried children.
This is due to financial reasons. The petitioner would have to be at least
21 years old to sponsor brothers, sisters, and parents. A permanent resident
usually does not have to be a certain age to petition.
There are many restrictions, qualifications, and waivers to almost any
issue of immigration. When you and your family needs answers, you can
find them with a qualified North Carolina immigration lawyer. At
Robert Brown LLC, we have more than 50 years of immigration experience. We may be able
to help you succeed with your visa or green card applications. Find out
what we can do for you when you
contact our firm. Call today!