How to Help a Foreign Family Member Immigrate to the U.S. and Get a Green Card

If you’re a startup founder or have some funds to invest in the U.S. you may be eligible for a U.S. citizenship. However, what options are left for bootstrappers, freelancers and business owners who just don’t have the fund to take on the invest-for-citizenship programs? No worries, there are still options – read on.

U.S. passport

What options do I have?

U.S. citizens and residents who’ve family members living outside the United States can submit applications to help them immigrate and get a U.S. immigrant visa, which can help you to get a green card or becoming a permanent resident.

The application process to get an immigrant visa for your qualified family members follows the same primary steps whether you’re a U.S. citizen or a legal permanent resident.

The steps and specifications for obtaining a green card are different for each person. There are various things that will be considered like:

  • If the man or woman requesting is a US citizen or a resident
  • If the immigrant has ever been illegally in the US
  • The relationship between the immigrant and the US petitioner
  • The country where the immigrant is from

It is essential to discover more about this application process ahead of time so that you’ll be in a position to plan for the different requirements around the timeline.

If your Relative Lives Abroad

In case your relative lives abroad, you need to first submit Form I-130 with USCIS. You’ll also have to file proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residence, and evidence proving your relationship to each person for whom you need to sponsor. Filing Form I-130 offers your relative a place in line with others waiting around to immigrate from the similar country or region based on the same kind of relationship.

There’s no waiting period for immediate relatives of U.S. permanent residents, including spouses, parents, or single children under age 21. Other types of relatives can have to wait many years while petitions that were registered before theirs are processed. Once a visa number becomes available for your relative, the U.S. Department of State can call your relative and extend an invitation to him or her to submit an application for an immigrant visa. Your family member must not enter the U.S. before this invitation is extended.

U.S. flag in courtyard

If your Relative is in The U.S

If your family member is already in the U.S. and entered lawfully, then they might be able to submit Form I-485, Application to Change Status, simultaneously that you submit the Form I-130. This should quicken the process of getting a Green Card for your family member.

U.S. Citizenship Test

When applying for U.S. Citizenship through naturalization, United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) does need a Citizenship test to be taken by all appliers. The Citizenship test is going to be based on the ability of reading, writing and speaking English, understanding of American history and the government of the United States of America.

Keep in mind when apply for green card that immigration law is very complex and making mistakes can be very critical. If your relative is in the US without legal status and submits an application for a green card that is inappropriate, they could be susceptible to deportation.