Family sponsorship is one of the most popular ways to obtain green cards. If you are a lawful permanent resident or a citizen of the US, one of the advantages of your status is that you can sponsor your family in order to bring them to the US. US immigration laws permit family sponsorship to allow families to be reunited in the US. If you are a citizen, you will have the ability to sponsor more family members.
However, if you are a green card holder, you can still sponsor a spouse or child to come to the US to live. If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor a parent, spouse, sibling, or child. You can sponsor other relatives, as well. However, these relatives will be placed lower in priority than immediate relatives and may need to wait longer to secure their green cards.
If you want to sponsor a family member, you will need to file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You will also need to submit an Affidavit of Support for each family member you sponsor, to show that you are willing to financially support your family members so that they do not rely on the state for support. Once you have filed the petition and Affidavit of Support, you will receive a confirmation receipt and a visa number, which will give you a sense of when your relative might receive a green card. There are only so many green cards issued to relatives each year, so the process of waiting for a green card can take years. In some cases, your relatives may be able to remain in the US while awaiting for a visa, while in most cases they will need to stay in their home country and immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy. In cases where the relative is already in the US – as in the case of a spouse – the petitioner can remain in the US and apply for an adjustment of status.