How To Bring Family Members to the US
Author: New York Immigration Attorney Alena Shautsova
An ability to sponsor a family member into the US depends on (1) the immigration status of the sponsor and (2) the relationship between the sponsor and the family member who is overseas.
A US permanent resident can “bring” over: a spouse, a child (unmarried under 21 son or daughter); an unmarried son or daughter. A permanent resident cannot sponsor his or her siblings, grandparents/grandchildren or parents.
A US citizen may sponsor a spouse, a child (unmarried under 21 son or daughter); unmarried son or daughter; married son or daughter and their children; a sibling. There is no ability to bring over grandparents or uncle and aunts.
For example, an adult US citizen daughter would like to sponsor her mother who lives abroad. Will she be able to sponsor her under-aged siblings with the mother as well? The answer is no. A 21 years old, US citizen daughter can sponsor her parent, but not parent’s children. The law does not allow that. However, the children may be sponsored by the mother herself as soon as she becomes a permanent resident. The US daughter may file for her siblings of course, but the wait time for siblings is significantly longer than for children of the permanent residents. See Visa Bulletin.
May a child sponsor a step parent? Let’s say mother of the same US citizen daughter re-married. Yes, but only if the mother married the step dad before the US citizen daughter’s 18th birthday.
For more information on family immigration visit: http://www.shautsova.com/immigration-usa/marriage-visas-usa-immigration.html.