Kanu & Associates, P.C., brings a unique understanding to the situation faced by those who wish to bring family members to the United States. Throughout his career, Kanu has helped US citizens, permanent residents and those with refugee or asylee status to bring their spouses, children, parents, siblings and fiancé(e)s to our country by obtaining visas that allow them to live and work here. We have developed the skill and experience that allows us to help immigrants to clear legal hurdles and candidly advise them when they cannot.
When Kanu & Associates, P.C., examines your case, we will first need to know what your status is within the US. Your status will determine which family members or future family members (fiancé) you can bring to the US
Generally speaking, you may help a family member to immigrate here if you are a US citizen, a permanent resident (or “green card” holder), or a refugee or asylee admitted as such within the past two years.
The next step will be to determine your options depending on your relationship with the person you wish to sponsor. The relative’s age and marital status may be factors as well.
As a US citizen, you can petition for many different types of relatives to join you in the US, including: fiancé, spouse, children who are unmarried and under age 21, children who are married and/or age 21 and older, parents (if you are age 21 or older), and siblings (again, if you are age 21 or older).
If the immigrant you are sponsoring is an “immediate relative,” he or she will not need to wait in line for a visa. Relatives who fall in this category are spouses, children who are unmarried and under age 21 and parents (if you are age 21 or older). If the relative does not fall into these categories, then the relative will wait in line with other immigrants who are waiting to come to the US from the same country or region based on the same relationship.
If the relative is inside the US and he or she is a spouse or unmarried child under age 21, he or she can be admitted to the US on a non-immigrant K-3 or K-4 visa while awaiting a decision on the Form I-130 petition. Kanu &Associates, P.C., can help you to fill out the paperwork to obtain such a visa. After getting a visa number, the relative will then submit an application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, which adjusts his or her status to that of a permanent resident.
If the relative is outside the US, the petition will be sent to the National Visa Center, which will then forward the petition to the US consulate in the relative’s geographic area. The consulate’s office will notify the relative when the visa is ready.
If you are seeking to sponsor your fiancé for immigration to the US, you will follow a slightly different process. You will need to file a Form I-129, Petition for Alien Fiancé.
As a permanent US resident or green card holder, you can petition for a spouse or an unmarried child to obtain permanent resident status here.
The process is essentially the same as if you were a US citizen sponsoring a family-based immigrant. It involves filing the same I-130 and I-485 petitions at the appropriate times.
However, there is no “immediate relative” status. This means that filing a petition and meeting the other requirements will put the relative in line with other foreign nationals waiting to immigrate from the same country / preference category. The visa will become available based on the category he or she falls in and the date the Form I-130 was filed (or “priority date”).
As a refugee or asylee in the US, you may petition for a spouse or a child (as long as the child was unmarried or under age 21 at the time you applied for refugee/asylum status) to come to the US to permanently live and work here.
The process is very different from sponsoring an immigrant as a US citizen or permanent resident.
In particular, you would need to file a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, and you would need to show that you are the principal refugee/asylee, you entered the US as a refugee or asylee within the previous two years, and you currently remain here as a refugee/asylee or have become a permanent resident.
You also need to show that the spouse/child relationship existed before you came to the US. In other words, you must have been married before you came here as a refugee/asylee, or the child must have been born or conceived before you came here.
There are many steps involved in the family-based immigration process. Forms need to be filled out efficiently, completely and accurately. Documentation needs to be compiled and presented in a timely manner. At Kanu & Associates, P.C., we understand how daunting this process can be to many who seek to bring family members to America as immigrants.
Contact us today to set up a meeting with an immigration lawyer from our firm.