Many people get their green cards through family sponsorship. If you have become a US citizen or permanent resident, you can sponsor your immediate family to come and live in the US through a family green card. The US makes this possible in order to keep families together. Therefore, if you have moved to the US permanently, you may be able to reunite your family by sponsoring family members to come and live in the US. There are many ways to do this:
- If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor immediate relatives. This includes unmarried children younger than 21 years of age, spouses, and parents (if you are 21 years of age or older). These relatives get the highest priority if you are a US citizen.
- If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor relatives in a preference category. This includes your unmarried children over the age of 21, any married children, and siblings (if you, as the sponsor are 21 years of age or older). Relatives you sponsor in the preference category may need to wait longer than immediate relatives, but you can still sponsor these persons for a family green card.
- If you are a green card holder, you can sponsor your immediate family for a relative green card. Immediate family members you can sponsor as a permanent resident of the US include spouses and unmarried children.
- You can also sponsor relatives in special categories. For example, you can sponsor a battered child or spouse, a person born in the US to a foreign diplomat, a widow or widower of a US citizen, a V nonimmigrant or a K nonimmigrant, if these individuals are your family.
- If you are a US citizen of green card holder, you can also sponsor an adopted child to get a relative green card.
If you have a relative whose relationship you can document and if this relative fits the eligibility requirements listed above, you can sponsor your relative for a green card. To do so, you must file USCIS Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) and any additional needed documentation. You must also file an affidavit that your income allows you to support all your sponsored family members at 125% above the federal poverty line. The affidavit also makes you financially responsible for your sponsored family members, so that they will not use public benefits. If your petition to sponsor a family member is accepted, your family member will be given a visa number. Your family member must then wait until the visa number becomes available. At that time, they can claim their green card and live and work in the US.