How to Bring a Family Member to the US
American-born or naturalized citizens have many legal options when reunifying with family members living abroad. These options may include green cards, fiancé(e) visas, K-3/K-4 visa, or applying for citizenship.
While the information about these programs presented below is general in nature, it is critical to seek legal advice from a Jersey City immigration attorney. She will approach an immigration case practically while providing personalized guidance.
A US citizen can help relatives become permanent residents by obtaining a Green Card. Receiving this status requires both individuals to meet specific criteria when filing Form I-130 available through US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
A US citizen can petition USCIS for the following types of relatives:
- Husband or wife
- Children, regardless of marital status
US citizens older than 21 may also petition to bring their parents, brothers, and sisters. Petitioning requires evidence that proves the relationship between the two individuals, not limited to: marriage certificates, birth certificates, and other documentation, as requested.
Individuals may file for a fiancé(e) visa under the following circumstances:
- The petitioner is a United States citizen
- The couple will marry within ninety (90) days
- Both parties are legally eligible to marry
- Both parties met within the past two (2) years before filing
There are two exceptions to these rules. Petitioners may need to obtain a waiver if meeting the fiancée would violate foreign culture customs or cause undue hardship. An immigration attorney can help couples address these issues.
When a family member is waiting for green card adjudication, the US citizen petitioner can simultaneously apply for a K-3/K-4 nonimmigrant visa. Since it generally takes less time to adjudicate a green card, receiving a K-3/K-4 visa is rare.
Individuals must also supply an Affidavit of Support, Form DS-5540 when applying for family members. This form provides proof that the US citizen or resident can support their needs throughout the time the family member is unauthorized to work.
Apply for Citizenship
Typically, a relative may qualify for naturalization if they have permanently resided in the United States for at least three (3) years. For marital unions, the non-resident or citizen family member must live in the US citizen the entire length of their stay.
There are some exceptions and other eligibility requirements apply, which means that speaking with a competent immigration attorney is critical to navigating the process. He or she will advise clients of their rights, as well as, what expectations they must meet.
The Law Firm of Loxanne P. Taylor Wants to Help You
The Law Firm of Loxanne P. Taylor provides personalized legal representation that represents our clients’ immigration objectives. A Jersey City immigration lawyer will thoroughly evaluate your case and transparently communicate all of your legal options.