You might not have known this, but ‘Lawful Permanent Residents’ (LPR’s) or Green Card holders have the ability to sponsor foreign born members of their family. As most of us know, many benefits come with receiving permanent residency status, one of which is the ability to obtain employment authorization, (A work permit). There are a few hoops to jump through and it is not an instantaneous process by any means. But the offices of Jeffrey Cancilla can help you get the process started in the correct manner for expeditious and successful outcomes. It must be mentioned that this process applies only for immediate members of our families. There are however, alternatives for more distant family members.
Determining who you CAN file for:
It’s important to have a thorough and complete understanding of who can apply for this type of immigration, before you seek to sponsor a family member and especially before beginning ay paperwork.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may file an immediate relative petition for:
• Orphan adopted abroad (IR-3)
• Orphan to be adopted (IR-4)
• A Parent who is at least 21 (IR-5)
• Spouse (IR-1)
• Unmarried child under 21 (IR-2)
Proof must be provided and demonstrated, that you are in fact immediately related to the family member that you are filing for.
If you have been residing in another country, for at least six months and have permission from this host country to be there, then you can file an immigrant visa petition at a US embassy or consulate. There still may be other eligibility requirements as well, so it is best to consult a family green card lawyer to learn more about this option and to navigate the process and file documentation properly. Understand the Various Subcategories
Special priority is given to immediate family members and relatives by the USCIS, as a way to promote familial values and togetherness.
‘What is a ‘Preference Relative’?
Preference relatives are another category you can file under and can include; children of U.S. citizens above the age of 21, married children of U.S. citizens, spouses and/or children of green card holders, etc. There is usually a wait, but here are roughly 480,000 green cards available for this category.
Processing Times- Be Prepared. Be Patient:
Within the family based immigration category there are a number of steps.
First of all, the U.S. citizen or green card holder must file a petition with the Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (in the United States) using Form I-130. This form must be filed with the office that serves your particular area. Separate petitions must be filed for each relative or family member.
What do I need for the Petition?
Aside from providing proof of citizenship like a birth or naturalization certificate, you will also need to demonstrate a qualifying relationship with the beneficiary of the filing. Furthermore, you will need to prove financially that you can support that individual at a rate that exceeds the poverty line by 25%.
There is an average waiting period of six to twelve months for immediate relatives. Wait times will vary depending on USCIS caseloads and other factors.
Other Alternatives – Child Status Protection Act:
There are some instances where an age discrepancy will not allow you to qualify under the previously mentioned guidelines. If this is the case, you may want to check with the Child Status Protection Act. This is a mandate that can allow certain individuals to keep their classification of ‘child’ even after reaching 21. If a petition is filed by the U.S. citizen parent for ‘Alien Relative’, the beneficiary’s age freezes on the date of that filing. Similarly, if the permanent resident parent files a petition and they naturalize before the beneficiary reaches 21, their age freezes on the date that the petitioner naturalizes.
Understand and Respect Misuse of the Green Cards:
One must always be aware that possession of a green card must be treated with respect.
It can be subject to revocation at any time. Grounds for revocation include, but are not limited to, the following:
• Commission of a crime.
• Establishing a primary residence outside the U.S.
• Not informing the authorities of an address change.
Fees involved in obtaining a Relative Green Card:
There are several fees that one will incur when filing for a Relative Green card. Most of these involve processing and filing fees.
Fees will be due for the processing of an immigrant visa application, Petition for Alien Relative and there may be associated costs for medical exams and vaccinations.
For more information on how you can obtain a Family Member Green Card or any other immigration matter, please contact the offices of Jeffrey A. Cancilla Esq.
Visit www.jeffreycancilla.com or call 714-209-1267