If you or your parents immigrated to the United States, chances are you left behind close family members in your country of origin. While phone calls and video chats are a great way to keep in touch, most people ultimately try to bring their loved one to join them in the United States as a permanent resident or citizen.
As you can imagine, bringing a family member to the United States is not always an easy task. Fortunately, a family immigration attorney will be able to help you through the entire process. Here are five things to consider when bringing a family member to the United States.
What is your immigration status?
One factor that will influence your ability to bring loved ones to the United States is your own immigration status. Therefore, you will need to specify to your family immigration attorney whether you are a U.S. citizen, a permanent resident, a refugee, or have sought asylum.
Who is the family member?
U.S. citizens are able to petition for family members including parents, children, stepchildren, spouses, fiancés, and even siblings to come to the United States. However, if you are a permanent resident or a refugee, the family members you can bring to the United States will be more limited. Different family members will have different priority ranks depending on your immigration status and the relationship of the person to you.
What is the country of origin?
The loved one's country of origin may have an impact on how quickly the USCIS processes the application. You will likely need to provide proof of the loved one's country of origin, nationality, and current country of residence.
Is the loved one visiting the U.S. currently?
If you are petitioning for a family member to live permanently with you, whether the loved one is on U.S. soil will have an influence on the process. You will need to request a status change by filling out a form if the loved one is on U.S. soil already. If the loved one is abroad, you will need to apply at the National Visa Center.
What documentation does the loved one have?
You will need to be honest with your family immigration attorney about your situation. For example, if your family member is on U.S. soil illegally, your attorney will need to know. Past immigration infractions and criminal records are also issues you will need to be upfront about.
Many people immigrate to the United States alone or with few family members. If you've started a new life in the United States and want a loved one to join you, contact Taylor, Lee & Associates, LLC for assistance.