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Petitioning for Immigrants by Family Sponsors

You have the right to seek that some foreign-born members of your family be allowed to join you in the United States if you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident (green card holder) under U.S. immigration law. It will not, however, occur immediately. You must prove your family relation to initiating the process. Your family members will have to wait until a visa (green card) in their category becomes available if you are not “immediate relatives” (This may take a few years). Finally, a member of your family will apply for a green card on your behalf.

Who Is Eligible for Family Reunification?

Sponsorship Rules: Green Cards for Your Family

Is it possible for your relatives to visit the United States and apply for a green card? It is entirely dependent upon the relationship between the family members.

Obtaining a Visa or Green Card for a Fiancé or Spouse

How to ensure that your new family member can join you in the United States?

When Children as “Derivatives” Can Immigrate to the United States With Their Parents?

Find out when children can rely on their parents’ eligibility to immigrate to the United States and when they will require their family relationship and petition submitted on their behalf.

How does the CSPA Benefits Relatives and Derivative Beneficiaries with a Family-Based Preference?

Children’s eligibility is no longer withdrawn when they turn 21; find out more here.

How the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) Benefits U.S. Citizens’ Immediate Relatives?

When the recipient is the child of a permanent legal resident of the United States, turning 21 is a reason for concern; nonetheless, the immigration law provides some constitutional protections.

Is it possible for U.S. citizens to sponsor half-siblings or step-siblings for a Green Card?

When it comes to immigration to the United States, half-blood sibling ties are acceptable.

When applying for an immigrant visa or a green card, who counts as a child?

The immigration process through their parents can be used by natural-born children and adopted and stepchildren if specific requirements are completed.

Are my daughter and granddaughter (her daughter) eligible to petition on my behalf as a U.S. citizen?

Petitioners who are U.S. citizens are restricted in their ability to sponsor derivatives of relatives who qualify through them.

Which family members are not permitted to accompany the primary immigrant to the United States? (as Derivatives)

When someone becomes qualified for a green card in the United States, immigration law enables them to take their spouse and children with them in many situations; however, this is not always the case. Find out more information here.

The Immigrant’s Green Card Application and the Sponsor’s Role in the Process

The Most Important Steps in Applying for a Green Card Based on Family or Marriage

Understanding which the sponsor in the United States will handle aspects of the application process and which aspects the immigrant will be responsible for.

Form I-130 for Parents of a U.S. Citizen: Completing and Submitting the Application

Detailed instructions on how to complete the visa petition, which is the first stage in the immigration process for a parent who is a citizen of the United States.

Preparing an I-130 Petition for an Immigrant Spouse who is a citizen of the United States

Filling out Form I-130 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Form I-130 for a Sibling of a U.S. Citizen: How to Complete and Submit the Form

This vital initial step in petitioning for a sibling or sister to immigrate to the United States is explained step by step in this guide.

How to Fill Out and Submit the Form I-130 for an Unmarried, Minor Child of a United States Citizen or Permanent Resident

Children’s eligibility for immigration, how long they often need to wait, and how to complete the I-130 visa petition on their behalf are discussed in detail.

Complete the Form I-130 for a son or daughter (married or over 21) of a citizen of the United States

U.S. citizens completing the initial visa petition for their adult or married child should follow these step-by-step instructions.

Filling out Form I-130 for an adult son or daughter (over the age of 21) of a permanent resident of the United States

The step-by-step guide of the documentation required for a green card holder to sponsor an adult child for U.S. immigration is 

A green card application and an I-130 can both be submitted simultaneously in certain circumstances.

If they are in the United States, determine whether your relative is permitted to submit the remainder of the green card application along with the Form I-130 before mailing it in.

Financial Responsibilities of the U.S. Sponsor

Form I-864 Affidavit of Support for Family Immigration: Frequently Asked Questions


When a U.S. petitioner shows his or her ability to support an immigrant in the United States, complexities and exclusions arise.

How to Prove U.S. Domicile for Form I-864 Sponsorship by an Overseas U.S. Citizen?

If you are a U.S. citizen who wishes to sponsor a foreign citizen relative for a green card, you may (or may not) be required to file a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, among other things. Using this form, you will be able to enter into a legal agreement with the United States government in which you (the sponsor) will agree to provide certain information.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) About Petitioning for Family Immigrants

Can more than one family member in the United States petition for the same immigrant?

Making multiple visa petitions for an intended immigrant provides a potentially critical backup plan if one or more petitions are denied.

Can I file a petition on behalf of my daughter and granddaughter (her daughter) if I am a United States citizen?

Petitioners who are U.S. citizens are restricted in their ability to sponsor derivatives of relatives who qualify through them.

Is it possible to sponsor my same-sex partner for a Green Card in the United States?

There are quite a few restrictions for a gay or lesbian spouse to get residency in the United States.

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