Family Petitions (Marriage & Others)
Immigration Through a Family Member
If you want to become a lawful permanent resident based on the fact that you have a relative who is a citizen of the United States, or a relative who is a lawful permanent resident, you must go through a multi-step process. First, the USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition for you. This petition is filed by your relative (sponsor) and must be accompanied by proof of your relationship to the requesting relative. The Department of State then must determine if an immigrant visa number is immediately available to you, the foreign national, even if you are already in the United States. When an immigrant visa number is available, it means you can apply to have one of the immigrant visa numbers assigned to you. If you are already in the United States, you may apply to change your status to that of a lawful permanent resident after a visa number becomes available to you. Only, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, including parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by USCIS.
For a relative to sponsor you to immigrate to the United States, they must be a citizen or lawful permanent resident of the U.S. and must prove that they can support you at 125% above the mandated poverty level. If the sponsor is a U.S. Citizen, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:
• Husband or wife;
• Unmarried child under 21 years of age;
• Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
• Married son or daughter of any age;
• Brother or sister, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old, or;
• Parent, if the sponsor is at least 21 years old.
If the sponsor is a lawful permanent resident, they may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the U.S:
• Husband or wife, or;
• Unmarried son or daughter of any age.