Green Card Sponsorship Rules

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Green Card Sponsorship Rules

Just because a person is a resident of the United States, it does not mean they can freely bring extended family members over to the United States. Depending on the circumstances, certain rules may apply, including specific green card sponsorship rules.

Who Can Immigrate

United State citizens and permanent residents may sponsor family members and allow the family members to reside in the United States. However, not all family members qualify. Generally, the person must be an immediate family member or one that’s part of the "preferred" list.

The sponsoring person may petition for the following person to immigrate:

Even so, this does not mean the person may petition for her grandparents, cousins, or in-laws to immigrate.

The Waiting Process

The United States only give out a certain amount of green cards per year. The current wait is anywhere between four and 23 years. Preference is given to immediate family members versus preferred family members, so unmarried adult children will have a shorter wait time than that of siblings.

The Application Process

To start the process, the sponsoring family member must submit an application for an immigration visa. The person being sponsored cannot go to the United States until the application has been approved.

How to Expedite the Process

Because immigration is based on a preference list, certain things the sponsor or the person being sponsored does may affect it. Typically, the below rules will help with the process:

Consulting an Attorney

If you are confused about the sponsorship process, please consult an experienced immigration lawyer. He can help with unique situations and help you file your paperwork.

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Last Modified: 08-17-2015 05:22 PM PDT

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