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If you are looking to petition to bring your family to the United States, our law firm can help you with any matter involving U. S. family-based immigration.

With more than 10 years of immigration experience, our New Jersey immigration lawyers will help you with this entire process of petitioning relatives to the United States, allowing you and your family to be reunited in the U. S.

Call us today and get a private consultation, attorney Carolina Curbelo can guide you no matter what your immigration case is.

We Help You In any matter involving U. S. family-based immigration For 2023

At Curbelo Law we help you with all types of family petitions to the U. S. We have written several articles to help families seeking assistance in family reunification matters. 

Review them to obtain extensive information and please remember that to assist you in your specific situation regarding U. S. family-based immigration, it is essential that you contact us directly by email or telephone. As Latino immigrants and with more than 10 years of experience in these matters, we are ready to give you the legal support that you need.

u. s. citizen petition for parents

U. S. citizen petition to bring parents

If you are a US citizen, we will tell you everything you need to know to petition to bring your parents to the United States.

how do i bring my foreign spouse to the U. S.

Bringing your foreign spouse to the U. S.

In this article you will find specific information for American citizens who want to bring their spouse to the United States.

how to bring my son to U. S.

How do I bring my son to the U. S.

Review the article whether you are a U. S. citizen or a permanent resident to learn about the process to petition to bring your children to the United States.

can a u. s. citizen sponsor a sibling

can a u. s. citizen sponsor a sibling

We answer the process and the most frequently asked questions about bringing your siblings to the U. S.

How To Bring A Family Member To The United States?

In order to petition to bring a relative to the United States, everything will depend on the immigration status in which you are, this condition will allow you to bring your fiancé (e), adopted children or future relatives.

To bring a family member to the U.S. you will need to meet one of the following requirements and be a:

  • Citizen of the United States.
  • Permanent resident (therefore, with a Green Card). 
  • Refugee or asylee for at least 2 years.

If you or any of your family members belong to the Armed Forces of the United States, you will be able to opt for a citizenship for the military. 

Non-immediate relatives can be petitioned to come to the United States if they fall into a preference category; however, these types of visas are limited compared to visas for immediate family members, which have a visa number available. 

You may be interested in reading our article on the process to obtain American citizenship for a better understanding of U. S. family-based immigration.

Can An American Citizen Petition to bring a Relative?

An American citizen can petition to bring a family member legally and that they receive a Green Card, a K-1 fiancé(e) visa, a K-3 visa or a K-4 visa based on their family relationship.

You can petition your relatives and that they obtain an immigration benefit, among these immigration relief we find the following:

A Green Card For Relatives Of An American Citizen

If an American citizen petitions to bring a relative, he or she may receive a Green Card as an immigration benefit. Family members who can obtain a Green Card are:

  • Spouses.
  • Unmarried children and children under 21 years of age.
  • Married sons or daughters over 21 years of age.
  • Parents (if you are over 21 years old).
  • Siblings (if you are over 21 years old).

To achieve this procedure, you will need to have the following forms to process:

A Fiance Visa 

The K-1 fiancé visa allows to petition to bring the fiancé or fiancée of the American citizen to the United States. This visa allows to apply for a:

  • Fiancé who is outside the U. S.
  • Children of the fiancé under the age of 21 who are outside the U. S.

The form to process for this request is:

A K-3 Or K-4 Nonimmigrant Visa

This type of visa will be available for:

  • Spouse.
  • Children of the spouse under 21 years of age.

To process the application, you will require the following documents:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
  • Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé (e)

Apply For A Green Card For A Family Member

To request or claim a Green Card for any of your family members, you must start by filing Form I-130 with USCIS, this form will demonstrate the relationship between you and your family member.

In some cases, Form I-130 can be filed in conjunction with Form I-485.

bring your family to the united states

Family Members You Can petition to bring to the U. S. if you are A U. S. Citizen

If you are a U. S. citizen, you can petition to bring the following family members:

Immediate Relatives

The immediate relatives that you as an American citizen may petition to bring are:

  • Spouses.
  • Unmarried children and children under 21 years of age.
  • Parents over 21 years of age.

You will be able to request these immediate relatives without the need to wait for a visa number or a turn for it.

Other Family

You may request other relatives who are not immediate relatives, as long as they are assigned to a preferential category, these categories are:

  • First preference: Adult child over 21 years of age and single.
  • Second Preference (2A): Spouse of a permanent resident and their children under 21 years of age.
  • Second Preference (2B): Single adult child of a permanent resident.
  • Third Preference: Married child of any age.
  • Fourth Preference : Adult sibling.

Can A Permanent Resident Petition to bring A Relative?

In regards to U. S. family-based immigration, legal permanent residents in the United States with a Green Card can apply for some of their family members, which include:

  1. Spouses.
  2. Unmarried children and children under 21 years of age.
  3. Unmarried children of any other age.

Requirements To petition to bring A Relative If you are A Permanent Resident 

In order to petition to bring a family member, the legal permanent resident must submit the following:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • Some kind of proof that you are a lawful permanent resident.
  • Some document proving the relationship with your petitioned relative, this may be:
    • A birth certificate.
    • Marriage certificate.
    • Divorce certificate.
    • Other relevant documents.
  • The legal name change document if you or your family member changed their name.
family reunification in the united states

When you are able to petition to bring a relative and you are a legal permanent resident, you must submit it under a preferential category.

  • First preference: For unmarried sons or daughters over 21 years of age of a U. S. citizen.
  • Second Preference (2A): For the spouse of a permanent resident (Green Card holder) and unmarried children under 21 years of age. 
  • Second preference (2B): The unmarried sons and daughters of a lawful permanent resident.
  • Third preference: The sons or daughters of an American citizen who are married regardless of age.
  • Fourth Preference: For the adult brother or sister of an American citizen.

The preferential category visa will only be available with the priority date, which will be the date you filed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

After Submitting The Application

  • If your family member is in the U.S. legally, you can apply for an adjustment of status for permanent residence or Green Card as soon as a visa number is available and you submit Form I-485.
  • If they are outside the United States, their request will be sent to the NVC, which will send this information to the U. S. consulate or embassy, ​​the family member will have to go through the consular process for it.
  • Depending on the preferential category, the family member will have to wait until they receive an immigrant visa number when the petition is filed.

In our article dedicated to the requirements to enter the United States legally, you can learn different legal ways to enter the country.

Form I-130 For Petition Of Relatives To The United States

Form I-130 is the first procedure that you must submit to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain a petition to bring relatives to the United States and for your relative to obtain a Green Card.

This is one of the ways to know how to get a Green Card. However, submitting or receiving approval will not provide your family member with any immigration status or benefits. 

USCIS generally approves Form I-130 if you demonstrate the relationship that exists between your family member and yourself, once the petition is approved, they can become a legal permanent resident.

If your relative is in the United States and a visa is available, they may be eligible to obtain a Green Card through adjustment of status in the United States by submitting Form I-485, Application for Registration of Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status.

  • Some family members will have to wait to apply until a visa number is available.
  • Immediate relatives will always have a visa number available so they will not have to wait.
  • If your family member does not become eligible to obtain a Green Card using Form I-485 or lives outside the United States, you can apply for a visa with the United States Department of State at a consulate or embassy in the foreign country. 

Normally the requests will be processed according to the order of arrival, you will be able to check all this reflected in the Visa Bulletin.

Eligible For Form I-130

American citizens can file a Form I-130 for:

  • Spouses.
  • Children.
  • Siblings.
  • Close relatives.

Lawful permanent residents may file Form I-130 for:

  • Spouses.
  • Single children.

Not Eligible For Form I-130

There are family members who are not eligible for this form and are not likely to be able to submit it. These family members include:

  • Adoptive child after reaching the age of 16.
  • A biological relative who obtained a Green Card or U. S. citizenship by adoption.
  • Stepparent or stepchild after the child turned 18 years of age.
  • Spouse who was not physically present at the marriage.
  • Spouse who obtained a Green Card by marriage through an American citizen or permanent resident.
  • A spouse facing immigration court proceedings.
  • Any family member that USCIS determined was married simply to obtain a type of immigration benefit in the United States.
  • Grandparents, grandchildren, uncles, cousins, in-laws, or nephews. 
marriage based green card interview questions

If you want to be able to convince USCIS that you are in a true, romantic and committed relationship with your spouse, you can visit our specialized article on marriage-based Green Card interview questions. We also invite you to read the article “Can an undocumented immigrant get married in the United States?“, this will provide you with extensive knowledge about the legal processes in the U. S. regarding marriage.

Petition Of Relatives To The United States through Refuge Or Asylum

If you have been within the United States as a refugee for the last 2 years or were granted asylee status, you may apply for certain family members under refugee or asylum status.

You can learn more about the asylum process in the United States in our dedicated article.

If you are a refugee or asylee, you can apply for:

  1. Your spouse.
  2. Your unmarried children under 21 years of age.

Eligibility Requirements

The requirements to be eligible for this type of petition are:

  • If you are the petitioner, you must be an asylee or refugee.
    • You should not have had this status from another relative but received it directly.
  • You entered the U.S. as a refugee or asylee in the last 2 years.
  • You remain under the status of asylee, refugee or have become a lawful permanent resident (you are the holder of a Green Card).
  • The family relationship you had prior to your move to the US as an asylee or refugee.

Additionally, you must file Form I-730, Petition for Relatives of Refugees and Asylees at no cost.

Frequently Asked Questions About U. S. family-based immigration

relatives of united states soldiers

How Much Does It Cost To File A Family Petition? 

The price of filing a petition with Form I-130 is about $535.

You can pay this fee with a money order, cashier’s check, or personal check, if you submit it at a USCIS location.

You can pay it with a credit card with Form G-1450, Authorization of Credit Card Transactions.

If you are paying by check, you can make it payable to the US Department of Homeland Security.

How Long Does A Family Petition Take?

The time frame to process an I-130 petition depends on the relationship you and your family have and the ability to demonstrate it in USCIS offices. However, the approximate time it takes can range from 6 to 12 months.

Where Do I File An I-130 Family Petition?

You can send an I-130 petition depending on where you live. USCIS provides a select table of addresses with all the places to file it from.

What Additional Documents Do I Need To File A Family Petition?

Generally, you will need to file an I-130 petition along with additional documents including proof that you are a U. S. citizen such as:

  • Birth certificate (if applicable).
  • U. S. passport.
  • Copy of your Green Card.
  • Proof of divorce (if applicable).
  • Proof of any name change (if applicable).
  • Proof of nationality of your spouse (if applicable).

Can A U. S. Citizen Sponsor A Family Member?

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor the following family members:

  • Spouse.
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age.
  • Unmarried child over 21 years of age.
  • Married child of any age.
  • Sibling at least 21 years old.
  • Mother or father over 21 years of age.

Can A Green Card Holder Sponsor A Family Member?

If you are already a legal permanent resident; That is, you are the holder of the Green Card, you can request the following relatives:

  • Spouse.
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age.
  • Unmarried child over 21 years of age.

Can I petition to bring My Relatives during the Pandemic?

Even in a pandemic, all applications for family sponsorship continue to be accepted and processed without any problem, however, you should take into consideration that:

  • Family members of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident can cross the border into the United States as long as they do not show symptoms of COVID-19.
  • If their relatives are ill, they will not be able to travel until 14 days after their recovery.
  • When you arrive in the U. S. you will need to stay home for at least 14 days from the time you arrive in the country.

What Happens After I File A Petition For A Family Member?

If you have already filed the petition for relatives and your relative is in the US, you can apply for an adjustment of status to become a lawful permanent resident and obtain your Green Card.

This will occur after you have a visa number available using Form I-485 and your petition is sent to the NVC.

Can I Petition My Spouse Of The Same Sex?

Since the mandate of President Barack Obama, his Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) came into force, which allows legally married same-sex couples to receive the same benefits as any other couple.

New Jersey lawyers that help you with U. S. family-based immigration

If you are looking for lawyers able to help you with U. S. family-based immigration petitions in Curbelo Law you will be able to find the best immigration lawyers in New Jersey for it.

With over 10 years helping thousands of families achieve their American dream, our experts will be able to advise you throughout this process. We are conscientious in helping with all types of requests, including marriages of the same gender.

Call today and get a 100% confidential legal consultation that allows us to know your current situation and needs.