There are specific categories of people residing in the United States who have families in other countries. For that category of people, they may be wondering how the entire process of sponsoring family members works. Sponsoring a family member begins when you can file a petition to help your family members migrate as U.S citizens.
With an immigrant visa, foreign immigrants can gain access into the U.S and possibly get a green card and permanent residency. Making it possible for people to file petitions for their family members to obtain immigrant visas aligns with the U.S family unification goal.
Families need to be together. The quality of life for someone living abroad is improved when one or more of their loved ones can join them. family immigration lawyers bellaire tx can help you obtain a family-based visa to travel to America.
Becoming a Sponsor
The requirements for American Immigration can be very stringent. Suppose you want to bring your relatives living in other countries as legal immigrants. In that case, you must understand and meet the requirements outlined in the immigration laws.
The principal person standing in for the relative is the financial sponsor. The U.S immigration laws recognize financial sponsors as individuals, groups of individuals, or businesses that have taken it upon themselves to provide immigrants with financial backup.
As a financial sponsor, you are taking responsibility for the immigrant all through the duration of their stay. To be eligible for sponsorship, a sponsor should have some form of financial security – enough to cater to the relatives they are bringing in.
Sponsorship Eligibility Criteria
As a U.S permanent resident or citizen planning to bring a relative into the country, you will be required to meet specific conditions, some of which includes:
- Being a citizen or permanent resident of the United States. Immigrants who do not have any of these statuses do not qualify as a sponsor for others
- The proposed sponsor must be up to 18 years of age
- The sponsor should be resident in the United States or any of its territories
- The proposed sponsor is also required to meet stipulated financial requirements
Family Preference Immigrant Categories
U.S citizens and permanent residents are only permitted to petition for specific persons based on stipulated categories. These preference categories include:
- First preference (F1): allows U.S citizens to bring in their unmarried children who are 21 years old and above
- First preference (F2A): allows legal permanent residents to bring in their spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old
- Second preference (F2B): makes it possible for permanent residents to bring in their unmarried children that are 21 years old and above
- Third preference (F3): makes provision for U.S citizens to bring into the country their married daughters and sons
- Fourth preference (F4): allows U.S citizens who are 21 years and above to bring their siblings into the country.
Income Requirement for Sponsorship
There are specific income requirements to be eligible for sponsorship. The income requirement is measured with the Federal poverty level. A financial sponsor must have an income level of nothing less than 125 percent above the current poverty level.
As of December 2021, the annual poverty level for a single person resident in the 48 U.S States and the District of Columbia was set at $12,880, $16,090 for Alaska, and $14,820 for Hawaii. A U.S permanent resident sponsoring his wife and two children will need to have an annual income of at least $33,125.
However, if you can not meet the income requirement but still want to sponsor an immigrant, you can open up your other assets. Acceptable assets in this situation include stocks, shares, real estate properties, bonds, and even checking accounts.
Are there other Sponsorship Options?
Even if you can not singularly sponsor a relative’s immigration into the U.S, you can partner with another person to sponsor their stay. The individual partnering with you to sponsor your relative is a joint sponsor. However, whoever will act as a joint sponsor will need to meet the annual income requirement.
Average Processing Time for Such Applications
There is no specific processing time outlined for the different categories. However, processing time can range between 12 months and ten years. The category that enjoys the fastest processing time is the F2A applicants, usually the spouses and children of permanent U.S residents.
As a citizen or permanent resident, you can reunite with your family by filing a petition to bring rhythm into the states. However, the entire process may require you to hire the services of an experienced immigration lawyer who will advise on the best line of action to take.