Coming To America: Three Things You Need To Do If You're Filing A U.S. Citizenship Petition For A Family Member

Posted on: 29 December 2015

Immigrating to the United States is a goal for many people around the world, with over 12 million people in 2011 applying for permanent immigration status. Fortunately, U.S. citizens or permanent residents who have family living outside the United States can actually file a petition to the government that makes the immigration process a little easier, and serves the "family reunification" program.

If you're considering filing a petition for a family member to become a citizen of the United States, here are a few things you'll need to know beforehand.

Make Sure You Know What Category Your Family Member Is In

There are two main categories of family members that are eligible for citizenship petition. There are "immediate relatives" and there are "family preference." Immediate relatives include spouses, parents, and unmarried children younger than 21, and are not subject to the limit of immigrant visas the US government hands out each year. Family preference members include unmarried sons and daughters 21 years old and older, children who are divorced or widowed, married children, and brothers and sisters (including half brothers and half-sisters as well as adoptive siblings are eligible under this category. 

Make Sure Your Family Member is Prepared for Their Visa Interview

The Visa interview is one of the last (and the most important) steps of a U.S. citizenship application. Your family member will visit a consular official to conduct this interview. Make sure they have copies of every document they have submitted, as well as original copies of documents that show their relationship to you. For a spousal petition, expect extensive questions about the marriage to authenticate the relationship. Also be ready for plenty of questions about health issues or criminal activity. As long as the interview questions are answered satisfactorily and documents are in order, the case will be approved. Upon approval, the consular official will give the applicant a sealed envelope that can only be opened by an official at the U.S. point of entry.

Applying to immigrate to the United States can be a confusing and complicated process, but it is noticeably easier when done through a petition from a current resident or citizen. The U.S. government does make every effort to make sure families can remain together, and as long as everyone involved is fully prepared, a family petition could be the start of a great new life as a resident of the United States of America.

To learn more, contact a law firm like Tesoroni & Leroy


Staying In The Country That I Love

As soon as I moved to the United States, I knew I wanted to stay forever. I absolutely loved the environment and the motivation that other people had to succeed. I was able to find a job that paid much better than different places back home, which made me want to do my best to become a citizen. Unfortunately, the process was more difficult than I anticipated. I worked hard to earn my citizenship, but ultimately I needed the help of an attorney to stay. This blog is designed to help other immigrants learn how to stick around, so that you can chase the American dream.