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Bringing your family members to the U.S.

by | Aug 3, 2021 | Immigration |

When a foreign national comes to the U.S., they naturally want to bring their families with them. The work visa does not cover family members, but family-based visas may be able to help. This is because U.S. immigration law does not want to keep families apart — at least married couples and their children — as long as you plan to remain in this country.

Who can bring their relatives to this country?

Everyone who wants to come to the U.S. on a family visa needs a sponsor. As the U.S. State Department explains, the sponsor must be a relative who either A) is a U.S. citizen or B) has permanent resident status (i.e., has a green card). Among other things, the sponsor must show that you can financially support both yourself and the applicant, if necessary.

U.S. citizens can sponsor any of the following relatives:

  • Spouse
  • Fiancé(e)
  • Daughter or son under 21 years old
  • Parent
  • Brother or sister

And permanent residents can sponsor:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried son or daughter under 21

The U.S. does not limit the number of close family members admitted on family-based visas each year. “Close family members” means spouses, parents and children. More distant relatives, like siblings, may also be approved for visas, but the country limits how many such visas it issues every year.

A complicated task

The process is complicated, with a lot of paperwork and steps to follow. It’s easy for someone who does not know immigration law to make a mistake. An immigration attorney who knows the process can help you avoid delays and errors.