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What do you need to know about family visas in the US?

On Behalf of | Sep 23, 2022 | Immigration

Many people currently living in California look forward to reuniting with family members currently living abroad. Family-based immigration allows both U.S. citizens and permanent residents the ability to petition for immigrant visas for their family members. These petitions allow for families to be reunited though legal immigration methods.

Do you meet the requirements to be a sponsor?

Family visas require a “sponsor” and a “beneficiary.” A beneficiary refers to the family members who intend to come to the U.S., while a sponsor refers to the U.S. citizen or permanent resident who will petition for the visa on the beneficiary’s behalf. In order to be a sponsor, you must provide an affidavit of support that guarantees that you can provide a standard of living for the beneficiary. The standard of living cannot be lower than 125% of the U.S. national poverty guidelines.

Are you a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident?

Family-based visas are offered based on your current status in the United States. If you are currently a lawful permanent U.S. resident, then you can only petition for a family visa for your spouse or unmarried child. However, if you are a legal U.S. citizen, you can file a petition for a family immigrant visa for all of the following family members:

  • Spouse
  • Child
  • Sibling
  • Parent

Do you have an undocumented family member living in the U.S.?

If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, your undocumented family member may be required to leave the country in order to obtain an immigrant visa. Some undocumented family members may remain in the U.S. and apply for an adjustment of status instead, but typically this only applies to immigrants who are facing humanitarian disasters in their native land.

Why should you choose family-based immigration?

The immigration visa process can take a long time to complete. Family-based immigration may reduce the waiting period and result in a quicker reunification for your family.