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Helping Family Become U.S. Permanent Residents

Being surrounded by family is important, especially because families help each other in more ways than one. They help with raising and caring for children, they offer guidance, and they provide a support network that can be vital to one’s survival and well-being.

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you may want to help one of your family members become a lawful permanent resident based on your status.

In order for you to accomplish this, you will have to sponsor your relative and show that you earn enough income or have enough assets to support your relative(s) when they join you in the United States. To begin this process, you’ll need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

Unfortunately, you cannot petition for just any relative. As a permanent resident you can petition for:

  • A husband or wife, and
  • Unmarried children, regardless of their age

Please note that only U.S. citizens can petition for their married children.

When you do submit your petition, you will be required to prove your relationship with the relative that you are filing for. If you don’t have a birth certificate for your child, you may need to use immigration DNA testing.

What happens after I file the petition?

One you file the I-130 relative petition and you have proved a qualifying relationship, your family member will be given a place in line for their visa number along with others who are waiting to immigrate to the U.S. based on the same type of relationship from the same region or country.

Once your relative reaches the front of the line, they may be eligible to immigrate. For example, if you file an I-130 petition for your daughter, it gives her a place in the line of sons and daughters from the same country who are also children of permanent residents.

How long will your relative have to wait? Due to the high demand and the limits for how many people can immigrate to the U.S. each year, they may end up waiting several years.

Once your family member reaches the front of the line, they will be contacted by the U.S. Department of State and invited to apply for an immigrant visa.

If you are interested in learning more about the current wait times, please contact our office to speak with a Plano immigration attorney.