Permanent immigration in the United States (U.S.) comes with a variety of rights and privileges. One method to obtaining lawful permanent residency is through a relative who is either a citizen of the U.S. or a lawful permanent resident
There are two categories for unlimited family-based immigration:
Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens (IR), which applies to spouses, widows, unmarried child under the age or 21 of a U.S. citizen, and parents of adult U.S. citizens.
Returning Residents (SB), which applies to immigrants who previously lived in the U.S. under lawful permanent resident status. These individuals should be returning to live in the U.S. after being abroad for more than one year.
There are four preference categories for limited family-based immigration:
- First preference includes unmarried children over the age of 21 of U.S. citizens.
- Second preference, includes spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children under the age of 21, and unmarried children under the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents.
- Third preference includes, married children of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth preference includes siblings of adult U.S. citizens.
Your relative should first submit an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative). This form should be accompanied by proof of your relationship to your relative. Upon approval of this petition, the Department of State will determine if an immigrant visa number is available for you. When a number becomes available, you may apply for assignment of that number.
In order to sponsor a relative for lawful permanent residency, you must prove the following:
- That you are a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the U.S.
- That you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
- That you are related to the relative and can provide documentation of proof.