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Written by AskTheLawyers.com™ on behalf of Kevin L. Dixler with Law Office of Kevin Dixler.
If you are a citizen or permanent resident of the United States, you may be able to help your relative immigrate here. First of all, you need to know who the USCIS is (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) because you will be working quite a bit with this institution for quite some time. The form that you will need to start with will be the I-130: a petition to notify the USCIS of your relative so you can bring them over.
If you are hoping to bring more than one relative over, be aware that each individual relative will need a separate I-130 form filled out for them. Also, if you are a citizen already, then you can bring over any of the following:
If you are a legal permanent resident or a non-citizen U.S. National, you can still help relatives immigrate to America, but the rules are more strict. You will still just need to fill out an I-130 to petition for each relative, but there are limits on who use this path for immigration. In this case, you can only bring:
For Spouse: You will need to fill out the I-130 form, but they will need to complete the I-130A. It helps if they can sign it, but if your relative is overseas, it is acceptable for them not to sign the I-130A. Both the I-130 AND the I-130A have to be submitted together.
Married Children: There is no way around it if your child is married—they can only be brought over here if you are a citizen. This can be frustrating, but you should know that even if they marry after the process is completed, then they will instantly be denied. If they are living in America and have not become a lawful permanent resident yet, they still will not be able to get married because the USCIS will revoke their petition.
Children and Spouses of Children: If you are able to bring your married children over or if your unmarried child has a child of their own, the USCIS may not require separate I-130 for each of the individuals. The term you may hear for them is “derivative beneficiaries.”
Strengthen Your Chances For Success
With all of these things said, you should know that there are still quite a few disqualifiers regarding who can successfully file an I-130. An immigration lawyer could be very helpful in determining this, and it is advised that you be sure to take the appropriate immigration path and thoroughly fill out all necessary forms because mistakes with this can set back the process significantly. Find a qualified immigration lawyer in your area now so that your loved one can join you as quickly as possible.