It is understandable that you would like to bring your family member to the United States as families enjoy being close and sharing memories together. However, you should keep in mind that sponsoring your family can be a difficult and complex process.
You will likely need to meet specific eligibility and legal requirements in order to bring any family members over to America, even with a green card. A New Orleans immigration law attorney from our firm can help you.
Which family members can I sponsor if I have a green card?
If you have a green card, there are certain family members that you can sponsor. This includes your spouse, young children under 21, and even your adult children who are not married. However, if you want to sponsor anyone else in your family, such as a parent or a sibling, this will not be possible until you are a citizen in the United States.
If you are a green card holder planning to sponsor your spouse or children, it is crucial that you know and understand that it could take several years before they become sponsored. Therefore, it is highly recommended that you fill out the paperwork and start the process at your earliest convenience. The longer you delay starting the process, the longer it will take for your close family members to receive their sponsorship.
How long will my family be waiting for their sponsorship?
It is difficult to know how long exactly your family may be waiting for their sponsorship. This is because the waiting period is typically based on certain factors, such as:
- The priority group the family member is in
- What country that you or the family member is from
- How long and busy the backlog of sponsorship applications is
- How the individual is related to you
Currently, spouses, minor children, and adult unmarried children of green card holders have second preference. Therefore, these family members are preferred over married children of citizens (third preference) and siblings of citizens (fourth preference).
Is it difficult to obtain a green card?
It can be quite difficult to obtain a green card in the United States. However, you have four different routes you can pursue to receive this legal document that gives you permanent residency in the country. Here are the four different routes you can take to obtain a green card:
- Apply for asylum
- Fill out an application for a green card
- Apply for a job that will sponsor you while you work in the United States
- Become sponsored by a family member who is already residing in the United States
There are different requirements for each of these four legal routes that you can pursue to receive a green card. For example, if you are interested in becoming sponsored by a family member who is already a United States citizen, you must be a parent of a citizen who is 21 years of age or older, a child who is unmarried and under 21 years of age, or a spouse of a citizen.
In order to obtain a green card, you will be required to fill out and submit various paperwork, which will go into detail about your situation and circumstances. This paperwork is known to be long and complicated, but it is necessary if you want to increase your likelihood of being approved. Many people are turned away for leaving blank spaces or failing to turn in all the important paperwork. In addition, there is an interview, which you must attend.
Most people are anxious, worried, and nervous when it is time for their interview. The reason for this is because they do not know how to answer the questions, causing them to be denied a green card. You must take the time to go over the questions, prepare, and get ready for your interview months ahead of time, with which a New Orleans immigration attorney will happily assist you.
Five steps to successfully sponsor your family with a green card in New Orleans
If you are ready to begin the process of sponsoring your family with a green card, there are five steps you should take to successfully do so, which include:
- Make sure you are eligible to sponsor your family: One of the first steps you should take is making sure that you are eligible to sponsor your family. You can schedule a meeting with a New Orleans immigration lawyer and show that you are a green card holder. The lawyer will also ask you how you are related to the individual you want to sponsor, which could impact your eligibility as well. Be honest, upfront, and show any requested proof.
- Collect all necessary information and documents: If your attorney states that you are eligible to sponsor your family, you will want to begin collecting any necessary information and documents. This may include marriage certificates, birth certificates, proof of your green card, and more.
- Ensure that you meet the financial requirements to sponsor your family: Next, you will need to show that you meet the financial requirements to sponsor your family. This shows that you have the money to financially support your family and provide for them when they make it to the United States. You may need to show pay stubs, proof of employment, tax forms, and more. You will only be financially responsible for your family until they find a job and can support themselves.
- Complete and submit Form I-130: The next step is to complete and submit Form I-130. When filling out this form, your immigration attorney can assist you and look over your answers. The last thing you want to do is leave any blanks or write incorrect information down. Therefore, you should take your time, proofread everything, and remain honest when completing this step.
- Provide any additional information or evidence if needed: It is common for the government to request additional information or evidence regarding your application. This simply means that they would like to know more about you or your family member before they decide whether or not to sponsor them. As soon as you receive a request for additional information or evidence, it is critical that you return and submit everything as quickly as possible. This may be something as simple as a birth certificate, wedding license, proof of a job, etc.
The New Orleans or Slidell immigration attorneys at the Law Office of James A. Graham are experienced, skilled, and knowledgeable when it comes to sponsoring your family members with a green card. We know and understand the laws surrounding these types of issues, and we will gladly guide you through the entire immigration process. Our team believes in uniting families, and we will do everything we can to ensure that you have the opportunity to reunite with your close family members as soon as possible. Call or contact our office today to begin discussing your case.