Many people who enter the U.S. do so for opportunities for themselves and their families. They may want access to better health care or more career advancements and financial opportunities.

It’s only natural once you have secured a permanent position here either as a permanent resident or a naturalized citizen to extend those same opportunities to your loved ones. Can you, as a parent, sponsor your children for entry into the U.S. through family visas?

As a naturalized citizen, you are in a position to help your children

If you went through the entire process necessary to become a naturalized citizen of the U.S., you have opportunities to help other people in your family enter the country.

Citizens can sponsor their children, spouses, parents and siblings for entry into this country with very few restrictions provided that their family members are not disqualified for a visa based on their criminal history or for other reasons.

As a permanent resident, you have options for minor children

If you have a green card but have not secured citizenship, you have the option of bringing your children into the U.S., although there are more restrictions on that right. Generally, permanent residents can seek visas for unmarried children under the age of 21. Older children and children who are already married may not qualify under the family preference visa program for permanent residents. However, that doesn’t mean they have no options at all.

Discussing your family situation with an immigration attorney can give you a better idea of your options for helping your children or other family members come to this country.