Home IMMIGRATION Family Sponsorship: How to Bring Your Loved Ones to the United States

Family Sponsorship: How to Bring Your Loved Ones to the United States


Reuniting families across borders may require navigating the immigration process for US family sponsorship visas. As a sponsor, you can help your family members become lawful permanent residents of the United States, but only in a controlled and regulated manner. The first step is to file a Form I-130 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This forms a petition for an immigrant visa for the family members of U.S. citizens and Lawful permanent residents.

It is essential to comprehend the qualifying standards, as they range depending on the family relationship and visa category. The intricate application process, which entails filing a petition, supplying sufficient proof of link, and proving one’s ability to support the family member financially, can be handled with the correct help. There are preferences and restrictions associated with each visa category, particularly with regard to the quantity and order of precedence assigned to various application formats. If family members currently reside in the country, they have an additional option to become permanent residents by fulfilling the requirements.


Key Takeaways

  • Family members are sponsored through a formal petition and adherence to USCIS regulations.
  • A comprehensive understanding of eligibility and visa preferences is necessary for success.
  • Sufficient documentation and proof of financial stability are pivotal for application approval.

Eligibility Requirements

You must comprehend the particular standards established by immigration officials in order to successfully navigate the intricate requirements for U.S. family sponsorship visas. These include the requirements your beneficiary must fulfil, the duties you as a sponsor must perform, and the qualifying familial link that makes sponsorship eligible.

Family Relationship Criteria

Immediate Relatives: As a U.S. citizen, you may sponsor your:

  • Spouse
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21
  • Parents (if you are 21 years or older)

Family Preference Category: If you are a U.S. citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident, the following relatives can be sponsored:

  • First preference (F1): Your unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older)
  • Second preference (F2A): Your spouse and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age)
  • Second preference (F2B): Your unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) if you are a lawful permanent resident
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Each family member requires a separate Form I-130 submitted to USCIS.


Sponsorship Obligations

An Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), a binding legal agreement, must be signed by the sponsor. Usually, your accountability continues until the person you sponsor either:

  • Becomes a U.S. citizen
  • Or completes 40 quarters of work, typically equating to 10 years.

Beneficiary Qualifications

Beneficiaries must adhere to certain criteria to be eligible for a visa:

  • They must prove their relationship to the sponsor through appropriate documentation.
  • They should not have violated U.S. immigration laws or have any conditions that would make them inadmissible.
  • The priority date, the date when the Form I-130 was filed, must become current according to the relevant visa bulletin before they can apply for a visa.

Application Process

There are multiple steps in the family sponsorship visa immigration process, which begins with your relative’s petition and ends with consular processing.

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

You start by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).The family relationship that you have with the relative you want to sponsor is established using this form.Proof of citizenship or permanent residency status as well as documentation confirming the familial relationship, including marriage or birth certificates, are required. To prevent delays, make sure that this form is fully completed, that the appropriate cost is paid, and that all required documents is included.

National Visa Center Procedures

After USCIS approves your Form I-130, your case is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC will notify you when you must submit the immigrant visa processing fees, which are paid online, and when to submit the required supporting documents. This typically includes Affidavit of Support, civil documents, and more. Keep an eye on the visa bulletin, as visas are numerically limited each year, and your relative’s place in line will depend on their “priority date.”

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Consular Processing

Your relative may continue with the consular processing after the NVC has reviewed your documents and the priority date is up to date. An interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their nation of origin is required for this. The findings of the medical examination, passport photos, and other paperwork will be needed for the visa interview. Your relative must complete Form DS-260 (Online Immigrant Visa Application) and get ready for it. They will be given a visa packet upon approval, allowing them to enter the country and upon entry, become permanent residents.