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I’m a Citizen. How Can I Help My Family Member Become a Permanent Resident?

M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC March 28, 2023

As a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible to help your family members immigrate to the United States and become lawful permanent residents (green card holders) using your familial connection. However, to sponsor your relative, you must prove that you have sufficient assets and income to support them after immigrating to the country. 

At M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC, I enjoy giving experienced legal counsel and reliable advocacy to clients in family-based immigration matters. As a knowledgeable Texas immigration law attorney, I can inform you about the requirements for sponsoring a relative and guide you through the legal procedures involved. My firm proudly serves clients throughout Dallas, Lewisville, Mesquite, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Garland, Texas. 

Petition to Sponsor a Relative  

According to U.S. immigration laws, any person who migrates to the United States through a relative's petition must have a financial sponsor. A petition to sponsor a relative can be described as a sponsorship application filed by a U.S. citizen or green card holder in order to help a family member or close relative migrate to the country and become a lawful permanent resident. 

Who Can I Sponsor? 

As a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can file a petition to sponsor any of these family members or close relatives: 

  • Husband or wife 

  • Married or unmarried children 

Also, U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years can file a petition to sponsor: 

After filing your family-based petition, you must also provide evidence of your relationship with the person you're sponsoring. 

What Will This Accomplish?  

Essentially, filing a petition to sponsor a relative and providing evidence of your relationship with the eligible family member gives the person a slot with other people trying to immigrate to the country through a family-based relationship from your home country or region. 

However, this doesn't mean their immigration is automatic upon reaching the front of the line. Your close relatives must pass necessary background checks and meet the admissibility requirements in order to be eligible for immigration to the United States. 

When Can They Come to the U.S.? 

Additionally, special considerations are given to close relatives of U.S. citizens under U.S. immigration laws. These include the spouse, parents, and unmarried children below 21 years. These relatives can immigrate to the United States without being put on the waiting list. 

If your family-based immigration petition is approved, the U.S. Department of State will invite the person to apply for an immigrant visa. However, as a result of the increased demand and immigration limits, other relatives may be required to wait in line for many years. 

Am I Responsible for Them Once They Arrive? 

Furthermore, in order to become a sponsor, you're required to complete and sign an "affidavit of support." This legally enforceable agreement shows that you accept legal responsibility to support the sponsored relative financially. 

Additionally, your responsibility as a family-based sponsor will continue until the family member or relative: 

  • Becomes a U.S. citizen 

  • Is credited with up to 40 quarters of work (usually ten years). 

Hence, when filing your petition to sponsor a close relative, you must show that you have enough assets and income to support them as well. An experienced immigration attorney can enlighten you about the family-based petition process and help you navigate crucial decisions. 

The Petition Process 

Here are the steps involved in filing a petition to sponsor a family member: 

  • Hire an attorney to enlighten you about the process and help submit your application. 

  • Obtain and complete the necessary forms to file your petition. 

  • File a visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). 

  • Include various supporting documentation and evidence to show that you have a genuine family relationship with the person. 

  • The USCIS will receive and review your petition, then make a decision. You may be asked to provide additional information or evidence. 

  • If the immigration officer approves your request, your case file will be forwarded to the National Visa Center for further processing. 

  • Once your petition is approved, and the visa is available, the family member being sponsored will submit an application for permanent residency. 

A highly-skilled attorney can walk you through the legal processes involved and improve your chances of a successful immigration application. 

Get an Attorney's Support   

Filing a petition to sponsor a relative appears to be quite straightforward. However, due to the constantly changing U.S. immigration laws, getting detailed guidance from an experienced attorney is crucial to under the procedures and helping you navigate key decisions. Here at my firm, I have the diligence and expertise to assist and walk clients through the challenges involved in family-based immigration. 

As your legal team, I can explore your available immigration options and determine your eligibility to sponsor a close relative. Also, I will help complete your forms, file your petition, and represent you diligently at every phase of the application process. With me on your side, you can anticipate the most favorable outcome in your family sponsorship application. 

Contact me at M Mathew Law Firm, PLLC, today to arrange a consultation with a trusted immigration law attorney. I have the personalized approach and reliable advocacy you need when filing your family-based petition. My firm proudly serves clients throughout Dallas, Lewisville, Mesquite, Irving, Grand Prairie, and Garland, Texas.