The U.S. government gives immigrant families many options to stay together. One of the goals of the process is to aid in the legal immigration of families who want to find a new life in our country. For myriad reasons, they do not always come to the U.S. at the same time.
When there is separation, those already living in the U.S. may file an immigrant visa petition on behalf of their loved ones. But who can file? It all depends.
One of the biggest keys is your own status. Say you are not a citizen, but you are a lawful permanent resident. If so, you are allowed to file visa petitions for an unmarried child or for a spouse. That is it. Permanent residents do not have as many options as legal citizens.
If you are a citizen, in addition to being able to see a visa for an unmarried child or spouse, you have the ability to file a petition for a sibling or parent. Citizens can also help slightly more distant family members come into the U.S. in this fashion in addition to those in their immediate family.
Setting it up
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S. and you want to help your family come to our country as well, you can see that you have direct ways to influence this process. Just make sure you know how to go about it. An experienced immigration attorney can answer your questions and help ensure that you take the proper steps to file the petition.