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Last Updated on January 28, 2023 by Mani Karthik
Family-based immigration is a type of immigration policy that allows family members to sponsor the entry of their close relatives into a country.
This type of immigration is based on the belief that immigrants should be able to reunite with their families, and that family relationship should be considered when making decisions about who can enter a country.
Family-based immigration includes both immediate family members (such as spouses, parents, and children) and extended family members (such as siblings, grandparents, and cousins).
In order to sponsor an immediate family member for immigration, the sponsor must prove that they have a legitimate relationship with the person they are trying to bring into the country.
This typically involves providing evidence of marriage or other legal documentation.
In the United States, family-based immigration is regulated by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
The INA sets limits on the number of family-based visas that can be issued each year and requires that applicants meet certain eligibility requirements.
These include having a qualifying relationship with the sponsor, being able to demonstrate financial stability, and meeting certain medical and security standards.
There are several advantages to family-based immigration. It encourages family unity, which can help new immigrants to more easily adjust to life in a new country.
It also helps to ensure that immigrants are properly vetted and monitored since sponsors are held accountable for their relatives’ well-being.
Finally, it gives family members the opportunity to come together and support one another in their new home.
Despite its benefits, there are some drawbacks to family-based immigration. It can create backlogs in the visa application process, as some categories of family-based visas have waiting periods of several years.
Additionally, it can put pressure on family members to act as sponsors, as some may not be financially or emotionally able to take on such a responsibility.
Finally, family-based immigration can lead to chain migration, where multiple family members move to the same country at once, which can strain resources.
Overall, family-based immigration provides a way for families to stay together while pursuing a better life in a new country. While it has its pros and cons, it ultimately helps to build strong and supportive communities and foster a sense of belonging in the host country.
How to Apply for Family-Based Immigration
Family-based immigration is a type of visa that allows family members to join their loved ones in the United States. To apply for a family-based immigration visa, an applicant must meet certain eligibility requirements and follow the steps listed below.
1. Determine Eligibility:
The first step to applying for a family-based immigration visa is to determine if you are eligible.
To be eligible, you must be related to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Depending on your relationship to the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible for either an immediate relative visa or a family preference visa.
2. File Form I-130:
After you have determined that you are eligible for a family-based immigration visa, you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
This form must be completed and signed by both the petitioner (the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident) and the beneficiary (the person applying for the visa).
3. Gather Required Documentation:
Once Form I-130 has been filed, the applicant must gather all required documentation. This includes birth certificates, marriage certificates, and other documents that prove the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
4. Submit Supporting Documentation:
After all the required documents have been gathered, the applicant must submit them to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the completed Form I-130.
5. Wait for USCIS Approval:
Once Form I-130 and supporting documents have been submitted, the applicant must wait for USCIS to approve the petition. If the petition is approved, the applicant will receive a letter of approval and can proceed to the next step.
6. File Form I-485:
Once Form I-130 has been approved, the applicant must file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This form must be completed and signed by both the petitioner and the beneficiary.
7. Attend Interview:
After Form I-485 has been filed, the applicant may be asked to attend an interview with a USCIS officer. During the interview, the officer will ask questions about the applicant’s relationship to the petitioner and other relevant information.
8. Wait for Decision:
After the interview, the applicant must wait for a decision from USCIS. If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a green card and can begin the process of becoming a lawful permanent.
Who qualifies for family-based immigration
Family-based immigration allows individuals to become permanent residents of the United States on the basis of a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
This type of visa is also known as an “immediate relative” visa because it does not require an individual to have a job offer in the United States or to be sponsored by a family member in order to qualify.
Immediate relatives are those closest to an individual and include spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21 years of age.
The visa process for immediate relatives is much simpler than for other family-based visa categories, and applicants do not need to wait for a visa number to become available.
In addition to immediate relatives, family-based immigration also includes certain other relatives, such as unmarried sons and daughters over 21 years of age, married sons and daughters of any age, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the citizen is at least 21 years old).
These relatives are known as “preference relatives”, since they must wait for a visa number to become available before they can apply for a visa.
Finally, family-based immigration also includes “diversity immigrants”, who come from countries with historically low rates of immigration to the United States. These individuals are chosen through a lottery system and must meet certain eligibility requirements.
All family-based immigrants must demonstrate that they have a qualifying relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and must also meet other eligibility criteria.
In addition, family-based immigrants must have valid passports and must pass security and background checks.
Steps for Family-based immigration
Family-based immigration is a type of immigration that allows family members to reunite with one another in the United States. The process of family-based immigration can be lengthy and complex, but following the steps below can help make the process as smooth as possible.
1. Determine Eligibility:
The first step in family-based immigration is to determine if you are eligible to immigrate to the United States based on your relationship with a family member who is already a citizen or permanent resident.
Generally, immediate relatives of U.S. citizens (spouses, parents, and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to immigrate, while other relatives may be eligible under certain circumstances.
2. File Forms and Gather Required Documentation:
Once you have determined that you are eligible for family-based immigration, you will need to complete and submit the necessary forms to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Along with the forms, you will also need to gather and submit the required documents, such as birth certificates, marriage licenses, and financial information.
3. Submit Application:
Once all of the forms and documents have been gathered and completed, the next step is to submit the application to USCIS. This can be done online or by mail.
4. Wait for Decision:
After your application has been submitted, it will be reviewed by USCIS and you will receive a decision on your case. Depending on your circumstances, this could take several months.
5. Prepare for Travel:
If your application is approved, you will need to prepare for travel to the United States. This includes obtaining the appropriate visa and arranging for transportation.
6. Receive Immigration Status:
Once you have arrived in the United States, you will need to go through the process of becoming a permanent resident.
This includes attending an interview and completing any additional paperwork.
Family-based immigration can be a long and complicated process, but following these steps can help make the process as smooth as possible.
With patience and diligence, you can reunite with your family in the United States.
Who can sponsor family-based immigration?
Family-based immigration is a process through which a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident can sponsor close relatives to come and live in the United States.
The sponsoring family member must be at least 21 years of age and meet certain income requirements. In order to sponsor a family member for immigration, the sponsor must submit a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
The form must be accompanied by supporting documents, such as proof of the sponsor’s citizenship or permanent residence status, evidence of the family relationship between the sponsor and the immigrant, and evidence of the sponsor’s financial ability to support the immigrant.
A U.S. citizen can sponsor a spouse, parent, child (unmarried and under 21), sibling, or another close relative. A legal permanent resident can only sponsor a spouse, unmarried child (under 21), or unmarried son or daughter (over 21).
The sponsor must also prove that he or she is able to financially support the immigrant. This is known as the Affidavit of Support and requires the sponsor to prove that they are able to provide the immigrant with at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.
The sponsor must also provide evidence of income, such as tax returns, pay stubs, or bank statements.
Once Form I-130 is approved, the immigrant must submit a visa application to the U.S. Department of State. The visa application process varies depending on the type of visa being applied for and the country of origin of the immigrant.
Once the visa is approved, the immigrant can then enter the United States and begin the process of becoming a lawful permanent resident.
Sponsoring a family member for immigration is an important and complex process. It is important to understand all of the requirements and procedures before starting the process. Seeking legal advice from an experienced immigration attorney is recommended.
What documents are required for family based immigration
Family based immigration is a type of immigration that allows people to enter the United States on the basis of their family ties, usually as a spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
This type of immigration requires applicants to provide certain documents in order to prove their relationship to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident.
The most important document required for family-based immigration is Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
This form must be filled out by the U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, who is referred to as the petitioner, and it must include information about the petitioner and the foreign national relative, including the foreign national’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth.
The petitioner must also provide proof of the familial relationship between them, such as a copy of their marriage certificate, a birth certificate, or an adoption decree.
Once Form I-130 has been approved, the foreign national relative may be eligible to apply for a green card.
The foreign national will need to submit Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, along with supporting documents such as proof of identity, proof of eligibility, financial information, and evidence of the familial relationship.
In addition to the forms mentioned above, family-based immigrants may also need to submit other documents depending on their individual circumstances.
For example, those applying for a fiancé visa must submit proof of intent to marry within 90 days of entering the United States, while those applying for a family-based green card may need to submit proof of financial support from the petitioner.
Finally, all family-based immigrants must submit a valid passport and any other applicable documents requested by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
It is important to note that these documents must be provided in English or translated into English.