Under the presidency of Donald Trump, some family immigration laws have changed, while others have not been affected by Trump’s hardline anti-immigration policies.
There have been quite a few unsettling reports detailing how family immigration would no longer be the primary basis for legal immigration to the United States. But many of these reports have been either exaggerated or even fake, which is why – if you are a foreigner or immigrant in the U.S. trying to get a permanent resident status – it is essential to know your rights as an immigrant in the U.S.
That is why we brought our Salt Lake City family immigration attorney from the Familia America Immigration law firm to debunk the fake reports and misconceptions surrounding immigration laws in the Trump era and outline how family immigration laws work in our country.
Who can sponsor their family members for a green card?
Despite the Trump administration’s continuous efforts to curb illegal immigration and crack down on undocumented workers, family visas still account for nearly two thirds of legal immigration in Utah and all across the U.S.
In fact, if you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent residents, you have a legal right to sponsor your family members for a green card, the visa that gives you permanent residence in the U.S.
Who is eligible to receive a family visa?
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, there are two groups of people in your family that are eligible to receive a family visa:
- Immediate relatives: your spouse; unmarried children under 21; orphans adopted abroad; orphans adopted in the U.S.; your parents who are at least 21 years old.
Under the current family immigration law, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident cannot sponsor such family members as grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, cousins, and others.
How many relatives can you sponsor?
The number of family members you – as a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident – can sponsor for immigration depends on your particular situation (speak to our Salt Lake City family immigration lawyer to find out), immigrants in the U.S. typically sponsor an average of 3.5 relatives, including their spouse and children.
What do you need to get a family visa?
These are the requirements to sponsor your relatives for immigration:
- You must be over 18 (or, in some cases, over 21);
- You must reside in the U.S. (and be either a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident);
- The first step is to file a petition for your family member(s) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- If you want your petition to be approved as soon as possible, seek the legal advice of a Salt Lake City family immigration attorney who will help you prove the legitimacy of your relationship with the family members in question and provide required evidence that they meet income requirements.
- The second step is to submit a signed affidavit of support pledging that you will be financially responsible for the family member(s) named in your petition.
- Then each family member named in the petition will be subject to thorough background and security checks, with the U.S. government also conducting criminal, health-related and other screenings.
- When approved, the petition will be automatically submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC), making it possible for you – as the applicant – to provide certain required documents and forms, and pay the fees.
- Afterward, you will be interviewed by a U.S. Embassy or Consulate officer who has to review your eligibility to sponsor family members for immigration.
- The final step for your relatives would be to undergo a medical checkup and obtain certain vaccinations before the family visa is issued.
Plain and simple, right? But it is not as simple as it looks at first sight, which is why it is highly recommended to seek the legal advice of a skilled family immigration attorney. Contact the Familia America Immigration law firm to get a free consultation about your case. Call our offices at 801-656-9605 or fill out this contact form. Se habla Espanol.