For many people who come to the United States from another country and become a permanent resident, the next step is to try and bring family members over. Those in Florida who are in this situation might feel relief to finally be granted permanent residence, but they are concerned about the process for their loved ones. There are similar steps to take to have relatives come to the U.S. legally. Knowing the rules and following them is paramount to reaching a positive outcome.
Permanent residents can petition for specific relatives
A permanent resident can petition for a spouse and for unmarried children no matter how old they are. The petition is filed through Form I-130. This is known as the Petition for Alien Relative. In general, it does not take a lot of time for immediate relatives. If there are offspring over 21, they might wait longer.
Once a spouse reaches the front of the line and can come to the U.S., they can generally bring unmarried children under 21 on the same petition. If they turn 21 before the spouse comes to the front of the line, a new petition must be filed for them. The unmarried child getting married will nullify the petition.
It is important to note that the wait time and various laws regarding how many immigrants can come and live in the U.S. can delay the process. Some wait a few years before they can come to the U.S.
It is a mistake to believe the relative can live in the U.S. while waiting. The relative cannot live in the U.S. until they are granted residency. The permanent resident family member is financially responsible for the spouse or child. This could be an obstacle for some and they need to be aware of their responsibility.
Adhering to the legal immigration process is key
It is natural for permanent residents to want to reunite with their family and live in the U.S. However, it is not a simple matter of one person becoming a permanent resident and their family being legally able to come to the U.S., live and work without going through the legal channels.
Immigration is a major topic in the news. Those who are trying to live in the U.S. and bring loved ones over can be fearful as to what can happen. However, it can be accomplished by understanding the rules and following the correct process. Being fully prepared is wise when trying to achieve the desired objective.