People may seek residence in the United States for a variety of reasons. For instance, they may be looking for work opportunities or intend to reunite with family members. Having family members in the United States is one potential way to obtain a green card (permanent residence).
However, the granting of permanent residence is not guaranteed and there are a number of roadblocks that can get in the way. Outlined below are some key factors that could impact family-based immigration to the United States.
In order to reside permanently in the United States, you must be able to show that you will not be a financial burden on the state. In family-based immigration, this is typically shown through an affidavit of support. This is a legally binding document provided by the sponsoring family member that shows they are financially responsible for you.
In order for an application to be valid, the sponsoring family member must meet certain income requirements. If they do not, an application may still be successful, but it is likely that a joint financial sponsor will have to be enlisted.
In general, the United States frowns upon those who have engaged in criminal activity. Proof of such behavior is likely to have a detrimental impact on any immigration application. Even if you have not committed a criminal offense, a mere suspicion that you have could be enough to impact your legal right to permanent residence.
Offenses that are taken especially seriously include crimes involving moral turpitude, convictions that carry sentences of five years or more as well as drug possession and trafficking. It is important to note that a criminal history will not always result in a rejected immigration application. The law in this area can be nuanced, thus, it is important to gain as firm an understanding as possible.
Applying for residence in the United States is a significant decision. As a result, it is vital to familiarize yourself with your legal rights.