Bringing a Family Member to the U.S. from Abroad

If you reside in the United States and have loved ones overseas, it can be a difficult process to bring them into this country. There are certain preparations and points to consider before you begin the process. The Philadelphia immigration lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. have helped unite countless families. The following are some tips on how to get a foreign family member into the U.S.

Your Own Immigration Status Strongly Affects How You Bring Family Members to the U.S.

Before you begin the process, you will need to know your own circumstances and be clear about your own immigration status. If you were born in the U.S, you are automatically a citizen, endowed with all of the rights and responsibilities therein. If you are a naturalized citizen, you will have all of the same rights as somebody who was born in this country. You may also be a permanent citizen, which means that you are working and living in the U.S. on a permanent basis without attaining a U.S. citizenship. You could also be a refugee living here due to humanitarian reasons. You might be classified as a “non-immigrant” because you have been issued a visa that enables you to live and work in the U.S. for a specified amount of time. Whatever your situation, it is important to understand what your status is before you bring your immediate family over to live with you.

Your current residency or citizenship status will greatly affect the means, method, and process of bringing your loved ones into the U.S. It is critical to have a clear understanding of what is needed to accomplish this. This may require a significant amount of research on the subject. For this reason, you are strongly encouraged to meet with an immigration attorney as early in the process as possible. He or she will have the knowledge to successfully bring your family members together.

Process for Native or Naturalized U.S. Citizens

If you were born in the U.S. or are a naturalized citizen you can file a Form I-130. This petition covers your immediate family members, including your spouse, parents, and children under 21 years of age. Proof of familial relationship is required for each petition.

Process for Permanent U.S. Residents

If you are a permanent resident, the process is a bit different. While you will still file a Form I-130, your family members will not be immediately invited to apply for a family-based immigration visa. They will need to wait to apply for visas along with other foreign-born members of permanent U.S. residents.

Process for Refugees

Your spouse or child that is under 21 years old can obtain refugee status by filling out a Form I-730. This must be done within two years from the time the sponsoring relative was granted refugee status.

Process for Non-Immigrant Workers

Spouses and children of a temporary worker that qualifies for dependent non-immigrant classification and who are outside of the U.S. must apply for a visa directly at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

Philadelphia Immigration Lawyers at Surin & Griffin, P.C. Help Those Seeking to Bring a Family Member to the U.S.

If you need help bringing your foreign family members to the U.S., the experienced and dedicated immigration attorneys at Surin & Griffin, P.C. are on your side. To arrange a consultation with a Philadelphia immigration lawyer, call us today at 215-925-4435 or contact us online.