The Law Offices of Elsa Ayoub, P.L.L.C.

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Immigration requirements for family members

It is not uncommon for people in New York to have questions about immigration eligibility categories. Many who are already citizens or permanent residents have family members who need sponsors, and people who are seeking permanent residency may have family members who are able to sponsor them. In order to sponsor a relative's immigration into the country, a person must first be a permanent resident or a citizen and be able to support the relative at 125 percent of the poverty line.

Citizens can petition for a related foreign national to be allowed to immigrate if they can demonstrate that the foreign national is a spouse, unmarried child less than 21 years old, unmarried child of the citizen over the age of 21 or married child of the citizen. If the citizen is at least 21 years old, he or she is free to petition for the immigration of a brother, sister or parent who is a foreign national. Permanent residents can petition for immigration only for their spouses or for an unmarried daughter or son of any age.

Individuals who are seeking permanent residency based on a family relationship must be able to prove they have a family member who is a U.S. citizen and willing to sponsor them. The sponsor is required to file USCIS form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

Individuals in New York who have questions about sponsoring family members for immigration into the United States might want to speak with an attorney. An attorney who practices immigration law may be able to help by examining the facts of the case and providing advice regarding which USCIS forms are required and whether the sponsorship is likely to succeed. An attorney might draft and file the necessary forms or communicate with the necessary government agencies on the client's behalf.

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