If you immigrated to the United States but still have family from your country of origin or family members who have yet to become permanent residents, you may consider helping them become citizens themselves.
The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services explains that if you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you can also petition for your family to immigrate.
Eligible family members
If you are a permanent resident, then you can petition for the following family members:
- Unmarried children
- Husbands and wives
- Unmarried sons or daughters
For your family members to have eligibility, you have to be able to prove your relationship to them and their identity. You should include a birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree or any other documents that can prove who he or she is and your relationship. If either of you experienced a name change, you should include your legal and former names.
The application process looks different for relatives in the United States and relatives still outside of the country. For those relatives in the U.S., you can help them apply for an adjustment of status. However, a person outside of the U.S. sends your petition to the National Visa Center and then the NVC forwards your petition to the appropriate consulate. When a visa comes available, you will receive instructions on what to do next.
To begin the application process, you have to file a Form I-130 or Petition for Alien Relative. When you petition for a family member, your family member can receive an available visa according to priority.