Family Immigration:

Immigration through a qualified family member requires an I-130 (petition for alien relative) where the familial relationship has to be established. This is usually done through marriage and birth certificates, and when such documents are not available, through secondary evidence.

Permanent residents and US citizens can sponsor their spouses and children, and US citizens can sponsor their siblings.

The following relationships qualify for family-based immigration and are able to pursue an immigrant petition.:

  • Spouses and parents of US citizens
  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents
  • Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
  • Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • Siblings of Adult U.S. Citizens:

While immediate relatives (spouses and parents) of US citizens are always able to adjust status at the time of filing the I-130 (concurrent filing), or pursue the immigrant petition from abroad (consular processing) upon the approval of the I-130, other categories such as siblings of adult US citizens may have to wait 10+ years to be eligible to use the I-130 for an immigrant visa.

In cases where the I-130 is being filed with the alien relative’s adjustment of status, I-864 (affidavit of support) must be submitted in order to establish the US permanent resident’s or US citizen’s ability to financially support the alien relative. When a standalone I-130 is filed, such as for adult children of US permanent residents and US citizens, the I-864 is not required.

While it is always wise to pursue an I-130 as early as possible to establish a priority date, application of future non-immigrant visas such as F-1 and J-1s should be considered.

Radu C. Vasilescu

March 2021

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