As a United States citizen, you have the ability to help a family member obtain a Green Card, which would make him or her a lawful permanent resident. “How do I help my relative become a permanent resident?” In order to achieve this goal, you would need to accomplish the following steps: 1) you would have to sponsor your family member, and 2) prove that you can afford to support your relative when he or she comes to the U.S. To get the process started, you will need to fill out a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. In some cases, people can file the I-130 with the Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. U.S. citizens can petition for the following relatives:
If you are a U.S. citizen and you are 21-years-of-age or older, you can petition for your parents, and your brothers and sisters. Once you file the Form I-130 and you prove that your relationship “qualifies,” your family member receives a place in line with other foreign nationals who are waiting to come to the U.S. from the same country or region based on the same type of family relationship. When your family member is at the front of the line, he or she will have to meet the admission requirements and pass the required background checks. Once these are complete, your relative should be eligible to immigrate to the United States. “Once I apply for my relative, how long will it take for them to come to the U.S.?” Under U.S. immigration law, spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents are given special consideration because they are immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. The good news is, the above family members do not go on the same waiting list as more distant relatives, such as grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. Instead, once your I-130 petition is approved, the U.S. Department of State will invite your relative to immigrate. If you’re trying to have a more distant relative immigrate, he or she could have to wait several years because of the number of people trying to obtain Green Cards in the U.S. Essentially, you would submit an application and your relative would have to wait in line until they were at the front of the line – this process could take years but it’s worth the wait.