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How can you help family members move?

On Behalf of | Jun 22, 2022 | Family Immigration |

When it comes to helping a relative move to the U.S., circumstances can vary greatly from situation to situation. Even permanent residents and U.S. citizens have different laws regarding helping their loved ones into the country.

Securing a favorable outcome depends on how you approach the process. It is important to understand the requirements well and opt for the route that suits your situation best.

Who U.S. citizens may sponsor

The U.S. Department of State discusses ways to help a family immigrate. Foreign nationals may migrate to the country if sponsored by immediate relatives. To sponsor a family member, a person must have U.S. citizenship or a green card. They also need to be at least 21 years of age or older at the time of application.

Those with U.S. citizenship can apply for a petition for a child, spouse, sibling or parent. They can also file petitions for other, more distant members of their family, but an annual cap on immigrants may prevent this application from going through right away.

Who green card holders may sponsor

On the other hand, green card holders have a much more limited number of people they can sponsor. They can only sponsor a spouse or a child, and may only file for a petition for their child if the child is not married.


Even with these distinctions, exceptions still exist. The immigration courts and related immigration laws have a widespread reputation for confusing even native U.S. citizens. Thus, attempting to navigate the system proves a task for many people. This is why some opt to gain legal help as they put their petitions in.