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How does family-based immigration work in the United States?

On Behalf of | May 6, 2021 | Immigration

One of the easiest ways to secure the right to enter the United States is through your family relationships. Family-based immigration helps people enter the country temporarily and sometimes permanently.

As a program, family immigration helps preserve family units and encourage responsible immigration. It helps provide support for professionals who enter the United States for work and creates more of a community for those living in the United States as nonimmigrant workers and permanent residents.

Individuals in different situations, ranging from workers at an American business to American citizens, can help their loved ones secure a visa to enter the United States. What are the different methods for family members to help each other enter the U.S.?

People secure family visas associated with employment visas

When someone enters the United States on an employment visa, their immediate family members can sometimes qualify to travel and live with them. Spouses, including same-sex spouses from countries that recognize same-sex marriage, can travel with someone on an employment-based visa. So can children who have not married and are under the age of 21.

They will need to pay the same fees and pass the same background checks and testing. Their visa will be dependent on the visa of their parent or spouse. These are nonimmigrant visas, meaning that those who want to stay in the United States will need to pursue other options after they enter the country.

Permanent residents can qualify for the family preference visa program

Those who have a Green Card allowing them to indefinitely stay in the United States can help their spouses and children under the age of 21 enter the United States. The family preference visa program often gives first consideration to citizens but does also allow permanent residents to sponsor their family members for entry into the United States.

Citizens can help many different family members enter the country

Both natural-born and naturalized citizens can support family members who want to enter the United States. Spouses and children, as well as parents, can qualify for immigration through immediate family immigration rules. Citizens can also utilize the family preference visa program to sponsor their siblings for entry into the United States.

Family situations require varying immigration solutions. Your current immigration status, your family circumstances and even your employment can influence which options are best for you.