There are family-based visas for a wide range of relations. The steps and eligibility will differ depending on whether the worker is a U.S. citizen or green card holder (permanent resident) working here. They must also be at least 21 years old. It should be noted that there is no annual limit on the number of visas issued to immediate relatives (child, spouse, parent). The number of visas issued to more distant relatives is limited.
Lawful permanent residents can file immigrant visa petitions for:
- Unmarried children
U.S. citizens can file immigrant visa petitions for:
- Spouses and children
- Unmarried children 21 years or older
- Married children
- Siblings of U.S. citizens
This process takes planning
Eligible family members are not guaranteed entry, so it is essential to plan all the arrangements carefully. Mistakes on visa applications or other important paperwork must be avoided at all costs. There are also important application deadlines. They must also go through the same process of applying for the visa, just as sponsoring workers did. Mistakes can turn a relatively straightforward (for immigration issues) into a long struggle filled with frustration. Many meticulously plan their education and career, and that same approach is necessary for the family-based immigration process. The rewards of successfully reuniting with family members will far outweigh the burden of the planning process.