After coming to the U.S. and setting up your life, you will likely want to have the family members you left behind to join you. This may include a wife or husband, young kids or even adult children. Having gotten permanent resident status for yourself, however, you may not know where to start in bringing their families to the U.S.
Knowing what to expect may help ease the process of reuniting you and your family in the U.S.
Which family members qualify for immigration?
According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, permanent residents may petition to allow certain family members to immigrate to the U.S. USCIS offers an immigration path for the spouses and unmarried children of green card holders. Spouses and unmarried kids under the age of 21 years old fall get preference over adult unmarried children.
How do family members of green card holders apply for residency status?
Filing the right form lets you seek permanent resident status for your spouse or children. You will file the petition for alien relative form, proof of your residency status and evidence of your relationship with the family member for whom you seek a green card. Evidence of your relationship may include your marriage certificate or child’s birth certificate. If you currently serve in the U.S. military, different conditions may apply to your situation.
Getting approval on the petition does not give your spouse and children residency status. Rather, it places them in the visa processing line. Navigating the immigration status comes with challenges, unexpected and expected. Therefore, you may consider seeking legal counsel to help guide you through the process.