I am a U.S. Citizen or a Permanent Resident (green card holder). Who can I sponsor to live permanently in the United States?
Generally, U.S. Citizens can sponsor certain family members for permanent residency in the U.S., also known as green cards or immigrant visas. These family members fit into two types of categories: 1) Immediate Relatives, and 2) Family Preference. The difference between the two categories is that under one category (immediate relatives) there is not limit to how many can be granted each year. Meaning that an immigrant visa or green card is available immediately. In contrast, under the Family preference category, there is a limited number of immigrant visas available each year. Thus, for most family preference category petitions, there can be a very long wait to obtain a green card or immigrant visa.
The following list describes the family members that U.S. Citizens can sponsor within the Immediate Relatives category:
2. Unmarried children under the age of 21
The following list describes the family members that U.S. Citizens can sponsor within the Family Preference category:
1. First Preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. Adult means 21 years of age or older.
2. Second Preference: Spouses of legal permanent residents (Green Card holders), and the unmarried sons and daughters (regardless of age) of legal permanent residents (Green Card holders) and their children.
3. Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children.
4. Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children.
Permanent Residents (green cards holders) can also sponsor certain family members. However, these family members only fit within the Family Preference category. This means that they must wait for the immigrant visa number to become available before they can file for a green card or an immigrant visa (if they are outside the United States).
The following list describes the family members that Permanent Residents can sponsor:
2. Unmarried children (regardless of age).
The three lists above are clearly missing any mention of aunts/uncles, cousins, or grandparents. That is because neither U.S. Citizens or Permanent Residents can sponsor their aunts/uncles, cousins, or grandparents.
If you wish to sponsor your eligible family member for a green card or immigrant visa, contact us at (248) 557-3645 for a free consultation.