If you are a U.S. citizen and your spouse or young child is not, it can make your relationship complicated in more ways than one. Luckily, the United States encourages and supports family immigration, which allows families to be united here. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) does not even put an annual limit on the number of visas issued to the immediate family members (a category that includes spouses and minor children) of U.S. citizens. This means that if you are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen, with the right help, you have a very good chance of receiving all necessary permissions to come to the country and work toward citizenship. Below are the steps you will need to follow to do so.
It is important to understand that if you are a U.S. citizen, your citizenship or green card eligibility does not automatically extend to your spouse and/or children. Instead, they must individually qualify on their own merits. However, you can support them in the immigration process. If your spouse or minor child is already present in the United States (such as on a tourist visa), they may apply for an adjustment in status by filing Form I-485. This form will allow them to apply to be a permanent resident without having to leave the country to do so. Because they are your immediate relative, they should also file Form I-130, which is a petition to allow the foreign relative of a U.S. citizen to apply for a visa. These forms (Forms I-485 and I-130) should be filed together at the same time.
Other forms will also be required. You will need to file Form I-864, which is an affidavit in which you agree to support your relative financially if they are admitted to the United States. You will also have to submit Form I-693, which is the applicant’s medical and vaccination record. If there are any reasons that your family member may be denied admission to the U.S. (such as a past crime), you will need to file Form I-601, applying to have their inadmissibility waived. If an individual has previously been deported from the United States, you can file Form I-212 to reapply for admission into the United States following deportation.
In addition to these forms, you will have to include supporting documentation, including two copies of your passport photo, copies of your passport, proof of entry to the country, birth certificates, copies of your government I.D., and immigration records. You may hire an attorney to help you prepare them to ensure that they are thorough, include all necessary supporting documentation, and do not include any errors that could result in costly delays.
The experienced immigration attorneys at the Sverdloff Law Group in Chicago, Illinois, are ready to help you unite your family here in the United States. Contact our lawyers today to schedule a personalized consultation.
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