According to the American Immigration Council, one in every six Massachusetts residents is an immigrant, comprising 17% of the overall population. One of every five workers in the state is also an immigrant, accounting for an impressive 20% of the workforce. In short, Massachusetts is an immigrant-rich state.
Once here as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) with a green card, immigrants can sponsor certain other family members to obtain immigrant visas and gain lawful status, but it is not always a simple process. Paperwork hurdles and other legal challenges can slow and sometimes even halt the process entirely.
If you’re an immigrant in or around Woburn, Massachusetts, or nearby in Boston, Marlborough, or Framingham, and you wish to sponsor other family members to join you in the United States, contact our team of family immigration attorneys at Corbaci Law, P.C. We have helped countless others like you with family petitions and every other type of immigration issue, and we’re proud to help you through the process as well.
Lawful Permanent Residents are limited in their sponsorship for family-based immigration visas. The only eligible family members are spouses and sons and daughters of any age who are not married.
The LPR must file a Form I-130 (Petition for an Alien Relative) and then provide proof of both their own status as a legal resident with a green card, and also the relationship of the family member being sponsored (birth certificate, marriage certificate, divorce decree, or another relevant document). There is a limit each year on the number of LPR-sponsored family immigration visas.
In some circumstances, immigrants can apply for lawful residence for themselves at the same time that they file an I-130 for a qualified relative. Service in the military also opens up doors to sponsor family members.
Once an immigrant becomes a U.S. citizen, the immigrant horizon expands to include — besides spouses and unmarried children — brothers and sisters, married children, and parents. However, you must be 21 years of age to sponsor your parents or siblings. For U.S. citizens, there is no limit on sponsorships, but again, Form I-130 must be used to initiate the process.
If you are a U.S. citizen, you may also bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry and live here, with a nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e) (K-1). An I-129F fiancé(e) petition is required.
Though it may seem like a straightforward process to simply file the appropriate forms and pay the associated fees, the immigration process for family visas is no slam dunk. You can spend costly time trading correspondence with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) trying to get your relative a visa.
Having helped countless others through this process, our team at Corbaci Law, P.C. can help expedite the process for you and deal with all the little details that need to be sorted out along the way.
If you’ve been admitted to the United States within the past two years as a refugee or asylee and been granted refugee or asylee status on your own — not as a spouse or dependent — you can sponsor spouses as well as unmarried children who were under the age of 21 when you filed for your status.
If you qualify, you must submit Form I-730 (Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition), which is free to file. Again, be prepared for a back-and-forth with the USCIS that can slow the process and frustrate you and your spouse or children hoping to join you in the United States.
Once the immigrant petition is approved, other forms may be necessary to complete the process. Among these forms are:
I-485: Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status (or DS-260 if your relative is immigrating from abroad).
I-864: Affidavit of Support, a mandatory form to show that the sponsoring relative will provide financial support as needed.
I-693: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record, required to prove that the applicant is not inadmissible based on health factors.
I-765: Application for Employment Authorization, an optional form to provide permission to work in the United States pending receipt of the green card.
These forms can be filed directly with the USCIS if the relative is in the United States, or at a U.S. Consulate if the relative is still abroad.
Multiple forms and legal hoops challenge any U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident hoping to sponsor a relative for a visa. We can assist with all filings and appear with you before USCIS interviews related to your family immigration issue. If you’re in or around Woburn, Massachusetts, contact us at Corbaci Law, P.C. with all your immigration issues.