According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, more than 700,000 people submit family-sponsored immigration each year.
If you are considering sponsoring a family member for U.S. citizenship, you are not alone. This process can be both rewarding and challenging, but with the right knowledge, you can navigate it successfully.
Establish your eligibility
To begin the process of sponsoring a family member for U.S. citizenship, you must first establish your eligibility as a sponsor. This includes being a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Additionally, you must be able to prove your status and be financially stable enough to support your family member.
Determine your relationship
Next, determine your relationship with the family member you wish to sponsor. Eligible relationships typically include spouses, parents and unmarried children under 21 years old. Immigration officials may consider other relationships as well, but it is important to verify with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
File Form I-130
The process begins with filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the relationship between you and your family member and demonstrates your intention to sponsor them for U.S. citizenship. Ensure that you provide all necessary supporting documents and pay the appropriate fees.
Wait for approval
After submitting Form I-130, the USCIS will review your petition. Once approved, they will forward the case to the National Visa Center, who will process the application and provide further instructions.
Complete affidavit of support
As a sponsor, you will need to demonstrate that you have the financial means to support your family member by completing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Providing accurate and detailed financial information is crucial to ensuring a smooth process.
Attend required interviews and medical examinations
Both the sponsor and the family member seeking citizenship may need to attend interviews at their local U.S. embassy or consulate. Additionally, they will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
Await visa approval
Once you complete all the necessary steps, your family member will need to await visa approval from the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. Upon approval, they will receive a visa, allowing them to enter the United States.
Welcome your family member
After arriving in the U.S., your family member can begin the process of adjusting their status to that of a permanent resident. This involves submitting additional forms and attending interviews, as necessary.
Sponsoring a family member for U.S. citizenship can be a complex but ultimately rewarding process.