At the Callan Law Firm, P.C., our attorneys completely understand how important it is for our clients to keep their families together. We help clients bring their families together from all over the world and our attorneys are always available to answer questions regarding your family’s immigration options.
Bringing Your Family to the U.S. Temporarily
Foreign nationals coming to the U.S. with temporary visas (such as H-1B, L-1, or F-1 visas) may bring their families with them as their dependents. Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 are eligible to be dependents.
Bringing Your Family to the U.S. Permanently
Foreign nationals who are the beneficiaries of green card petitions (such as PERM/Labor certification cases, EB-1A Extraordinary Ability cases, National Interest Waiver cases, etc.) can also bring their qualifying family members to the U.S. as dependents. For example, if a U.S. employer sponsors a foreign national for a green card, the foreign national can include his family on his green card application. By doing so, the foreign national and his family can receive their green cards at the same time.
There are also specific family-based green card petitions that lawful permanent residents (green card holders) and U.S. citizens can file on their own to sponsor certain relatives for green cards.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor the following family members for green cards:
1. Your spouse (please note that in some cases, same-sex spouses may be eligible for a family-based green card)
6. Your fiancee
If you are a lawful permanent resident, you can sponsor the following family members for green cards:
1. Your spouse
2. Your unmarried children who are under the age of 21
3. Your unmarried children who are over the age of 21
In order to sponsor your relative for a family-based green card, you must file a Form I-130 Petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The Form I-130 Petitions must include proof of the claimed qualifying relationship (such as birth certificates or marriage certificates) and proof that the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident sponsor can financially support the family member once the relative comes to the United States. A critical part of the Form I-130 Petition is the Affidavit of Support which confirms that the sponsor meets this requirement (please note that in certain situations, the sponsor can show that the foreign relative will be, or has been, working in the U.S. and is able to support him/herself).
Additionally, U.S. citizens can also adopt children abroad and being them to the U.S. through a special petition process.
Importantly, if you are a U.S. citizen and your child is born abroad, your child may automatically be a U.S. citizen as well. The acquisition of U.S. citizenship at birth can sometimes be confusing, but our attorneys are available to explain all of the relevant laws and requirements to you in order to help you understand if your child is already a citizen and if not, to help you sponsor your child for citizenship.
Contact the Callan Law Firm, P.C., today for more information on how you and your family can live together in the United States.