Family Sponsored Visa of USA
About Family Sponsored Visa of USA
Family reunification is a cornerstone of U.S. immigration policy. If you’re a U.S. citizen or permanent resident looking to sponsor family members to join you in the United States, family-sponsored visas are your pathway to reuniting with loved ones.
This comprehensive guide explores family-sponsored visas in the U.S., encompassing eligibility criteria, required documents, the application process, duration of stay, and essential factors for successful family reunification.
Family-sponsored visas cater to different categories of family relationships. To sponsor a family member, you must meet specific eligibility requirements based on your relationship and citizenship status:
- Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: This category includes spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of adult U.S. citizens. There are no numerical limits on visas for immediate relatives.
- Family Preference Categories: These include unmarried adult children (F1), married adult children (F3), and siblings (F4) of U.S. citizens. Permanent residents can sponsor their spouses and unmarried children (F2A) or unmarried adult children (F2B). Each category has a limited number of visas available each year, leading to waiting periods.
- Financial Responsibility: As the sponsoring family member, you must demonstrate the ability to financially support your relative in the U.S. You’ll need to complete an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to confirm your commitment.
- U.S. Citizenship or Permanent Residency: You must be a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) to sponsor family members.
The documents you need may vary depending on the specific family-sponsored visa category, but here are common documents required for most cases:
- Form I-130: File a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to establish the qualifying family relationship.
- Supporting Evidence: Include documents proving the family relationship, such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, or adoption papers.
- Form I-864: Complete the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to confirm your financial ability to support the sponsored family member.
- Visa Application Forms: Depending on the visa category, the sponsored family member may need to complete visa application forms, such as the DS-260 for immigrant visas or DS-160 for non-immigrant visas.
- Visa Application Fees: Pay the required visa application fees for each applicant.
- Passport: Ensure that the sponsored family member’s passport is valid for at least six months beyond their intended date of entry into the U.S.
- Medical Examination: Undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician and provide the relevant medical report and vaccination records.
- Police Clearance: Obtain a police clearance certificate from the home country or any other country where the sponsored family member has lived for more than six months.
- Affidavit of Relationship: Prepare a written statement detailing your relationship with the sponsored family member.
The application process for family-sponsored visas involves the following steps:
- File Form I-130: The U.S. citizen or permanent resident sponsor files Form I-130 with USCIS. The sponsoring relative must provide proof of their status and relationship to the intending immigrant.
- USCIS Review: USCIS reviews the petition and supporting documents. If approved, USCIS forwards the case to the National Visa Center (NVC).
- NVC Processing: The NVC assigns a case number and invoice ID number to the case. You’ll receive instructions on fees and visa application forms.
- Pay Fees: Pay the appropriate fees, including the visa application fees and the Affidavit of Support fee.
- Submit Visa Application: The sponsored family member must complete the required visa application forms and submit them along with supporting documents to the NVC.
- Consular Interview: Once the NVC completes its review, the case is forwarded to the U.S. embassy or consulate in the sponsored family member’s home country. They will be notified of the interview date.
- Medical Examination: The sponsored family member must undergo a medical examination and obtain a police clearance certificate as part of the interview process.
- Visa Issuance: If the consular officer approves the visa application, the sponsored family member’s passport is stamped with the immigrant visa. They will receive a visa packet for U.S. entry.
- Travel to the U.S.: The sponsored family member can travel to the U.S. and present the visa packet to the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry.
- Adjustment of Status (if applicable): If the sponsored family member is already in the U.S. on a different visa status, they may apply for adjustment of status to become a permanent resident.
Duration of Stay
The duration of stay varies based on the family-sponsored visa category:
- Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens: Immediate relatives typically receive permanent resident status (Green Card) upon entry, granting them the right to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely.
- Family Preference Categories: Family preference visas have quotas and waiting periods. The sponsored family member will receive a visa with an expiration date, after which they may need to apply for a visa extension or adjustment of status to maintain legal residence.
Relevant Factors to Consider
- Visa Bulletin: Check the Visa Bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State regularly to track visa availability and waiting times for family-sponsored preference categories.
- Health Insurance: Be prepared to provide health insurance coverage for your sponsored family member upon their arrival in the U.S.
- Maintaining Legal Status: Ensure the sponsored family member complies with U.S. immigration laws and maintains their legal status while in the U.S.
- Visa Processing Times: Processing times can vary significantly, so plan accordingly and stay informed about the progress of the visa application.
Family-sponsored visas play a crucial role in reuniting families and strengthening bonds across borders. By meeting eligibility criteria, assembling the required documents, and following the application process diligently, you can help your family members join you in the United States.
Cherish the opportunity to create lasting memories and experiences together in your new home.