How can a citizen help a relative obtain permanent residency?

A lot of citizens in the United States have relatives that aren’t yet lawful permanent residents but wish to help them do so. A citizen of the United States is allowed to petition for certain relatives to become permanent residents with a Green Card. Citizens can petition for their spouse or their children. If a citizen is at least 21 years old, they are permitted to petition for their parents and siblings. Those who choose to do so are required to prove that they are truly related to the person they are filing a petition for.

It is important to note that if you petitioning for your relative’s status as a permanent resident, they will need to have a financial sponsor. Those family members who choose to financially support their relative will have to file an Affidavit of Support. However, if you don’t financially qualify to support your relative, you may have to have someone else file the Affidavit of Support.

One other important factor to be aware of when petitioning to bring a relative to the United States on a Green Card is that if you are petitioning for multiple relatives, they each need to have their own separate petition. Parents generally can obtain a visa immediately but there may be a waiting period for visa availability for siblings.

If you have questions about petitioning for family members as a citizen, contact an experienced immigration law attorney who can provide you with assistance.

The Law Offices of Cheryl R. David practices immigration law throughout NYC. If you have questions about your particular matters regarding immigration please contact the office to discuss your circumstances and options.