The American dream of having your own house, raising your family, and living a good life in the United States is a dream that most people from other countries dream about often. Those who do make it to America have family members who still live in their home countries and wish to come here as well.
To get them here, there is a family sponsored immigration process that allows certain family members to immigrate and receive their visas. If you have a family you wish to bring into the United States, but you aren’t sure about the process or where to even start, then we made this article just for you. Continue reading below to learn more about the application process and who you can contact for further guidance.
Suppose you are a green card holder, also known as a permanent resident or a United States citizen. In that case, you can petition to bring your family to the states through family sponsored immigration.
There are certain family members that you can petition to get to the United States. For example, you cannot bring in your grandparents, parents-in-law, aunts, cousins, or uncles. Any other extended family is excluded from this list as well.
To help with the application and petition process, you may want to reach out to an immigration lawyer. They can help identify who you can and cannot petition to bring to the United States.
Who Can Sponsor Who?
If you are a United States citizen 21 years or older, you can petition for your parents to come into the states. Your parents are considered your immediate relatives; therefore, they qualify. U.S. citizens at least 18 years old have the right to petition for their spouse to come into the states.
Other examples of who can sponsor who for immigration:
- 18-year-old or older U.S. citizen can bring in unmarried minor children
- U.S. citizen can bring their married children or adult children
- 21-year-old or older U.S. citizen can bring their sisters or brothers
- Permanent residents can bring their unmarried children and spouse
Once you immigrate your eligible family members into America, they can bring their own children and spouses. Once someone has their green card, they can sponsor others on the list above.
Waiting Period for Family Sponsored Immigration
Immediate relatives, such as spouses, parents, and minor unmarried children, don’t have to wait for a visa-availability waiting period. This means you can apply for them almost immediately, but the time it takes to process the applications can take months.
To help with this process, you can reach out to a Jacksonville lawyer with a specialty in immigration law to help with the application process. Those considered preference relatives, such as brothers and sisters, married children, or adult children, have to wait a certain number of years before you can apply for their green card or visa.
The United States only gives out a certain number of green cards each year, and several thousand people apply for the petition. There is no direct timeline for how long it will take for your family member to receive their immigrant visas.
Current Waiting Period for First Preference Members
As of 2021, adult, unmarried children of United States citizens have an average wait of six years. Those who wish to immigrate from Mexico have a twenty-three waiting period, and those from the Philippines have a nine-year waiting period.
Second Preference Family Members
Second preference family members are spouses or children of permanent residents. There is currently no waiting period for minor children or spouses, but depending on what country they immigrate from, it can be between two to twenty-two years. For unmarried children over the age of twenty-one, their waiting period is about six years.
Third Preference Family Members
Married children of United States citizens are third preference family members. From most countries, their waiting period is about thirteen years. If they immigrate from the Philippines, it is about nineteen years; from Mexico, it’s around twenty-four years.
Fourth Preference Family Members
Last but not least, fourth preference family members are those who are sisters and brothers of United States citizens. The waiting period for brothers and sisters is about fourteen years for most countries, with the exception of India, the Philippines, and Mexico.
Those who wish to immigrate from India have a fifteen-year waiting period. Brothers and sisters from the Philippines have a nineteen-year waiting period, and those from Mexico have a twenty two year waiting period.
How To Start the Family Sponsored Immigration Process
As a United States citizen or a permanent resident, you have to start the application process. This can be difficult if you aren’t sure what application to put in or how to create the petition.
There are several different immigration lawyers you can reach out to for the application steps, as there are many steps needed to complete. If you miss a deadline or fail to file a specific document, it could delay your application process.
Florida Family Lawyer
Immigrating your family over to the United States through the family sponsored immigration process can be a tedious and lengthy process to go through. Thankfully, there are several immigration lawyers available to help you sort through the process and provide you with a timeline of how long it may take before your family member receives their visa.
If you wish to immigrate a family member to the United States and need help with the application process, contact us. We offer free, no-obligation consultations, and we are here to answer any questions or concerns you have about the application process.