What Are All the Ways Someone Can Obtain Permanent Residence Via Relatives?

terri-december-week-1-img-house When a person leaves the country that they were born in and immigrates to the United States, it generates a wide range of emotions, hopes and fears, especially for the loved ones and family members who they are leaving behind. Many believe that once their relative becomes a United States citizen, that automatically opens the door to them becoming citizens too, but that is not always the case. The truth is that the path to U.S. citizenship can be complex, and there are many rules, regulations and procedures that must be followed. Whether you are a naturalized U.S. citizen who is interested in learning more about bringing a family member into this country or you are a foreign national who has a relative who is a U.S. citizen, your best option for getting the information you need about your eligibility and path to citizenship is to speak to experienced family sponsorship visa lawyers. At Erik B. Jensen & Associates, we are here to explain all the ways someone can obtain permanent residence via relatives.

As a U.S. citizen, you have the right to sponsor specific family members. These include your parents, your spouse, your minor, unmarried children or married children or adult children. You can also sponsor your brothers and sister. If your status is that of a U.S. permanent resident, you can sponsor your unmarried children or spouse. However, in neither status are you granted the opportunity to sponsor grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles, in-laws or other more distant relatives.  Those immediate relatives who you are permitted to sponsor are able to get green cards without having to go through any kind of waiting period or being subject to any immigration limits. They do, however, need to wait for the bureaucracy to work, and that can take months, and in some cases can take years.  It is important to note that only parents, spouses and minor unmarried children of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives, and those others who you are permitted to sponsor fall into a different category and do have to wait longer based upon the number of green cards that are issued for their country of origin each year.

The process of sponsoring a family member for a U.S. green card is time consuming and requires that many different petitions and forms be filled out, starting with a visa petition.  Without this step being completed, the foreign relative will not be permitted entry into the United States. For assistance in pursuing sponsorship for a family member, contact the Philadelphia law firm of Erik B. Jensen & Associates. We are compassionate and experienced attorneys who will help you navigate this complex process and do everything we can to help.