Under immigration law in the United States, citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those with green cards may sponsor some foreign-born relatives for residency. With this sponsorship, your family members may be eligible for work authorization, giving them the ability to legally reside and work in the U.S. While the process may be long and complex, the following tips will help increase your likelihood of success.
How to Sponsor a Family Member for a Green Card
1. Understand the Different Categories
The immigration law divides family member green card petitions into several categories and gives each different priorities. Petitions involving unmarried children of U.S. citizens are given the highest priority, followed by spouses and children of green card holders. Married children and siblings of U.S. citizens make up the third and fourth categories. Understanding what category your petition falls into will help you develop realistic expectations about how long the process may take.
2. Monitor the Progress
Only 480,000 sponsored green card visas are available each year, far fewer than the total number of petitions received. After submitting your petition, you will have to monitor the “final action dates” bulletin, released every month by the Department of State. These dates are determined by the petitioner’s priority level and the country of origin. In some cases, the wait can be months or even years.
3. Speak to an Attorney
The immigration system is extremely complex, but a skilled attorney can guide you through the process and help prevent unnecessary delays. An immigration law attorney will have the in-depth expertise you need to get your family member to the US as quickly as possible.
As one of New York City’s premier immigration law firms, Berd & Klauss, PLLC has provided effective assistance to clients from across the globe. Whether you’re hoping to sponsor a family member or seeking US citizenship, their well-rounded attorneys are committed to helping you achieve your goals. Visit their website or call (212) 461-7152 to speak with an attorney, and follow their Facebook for more legal tips.