Being separated from your family can be difficult, but many people come to the United States to find a better life, with the intention of bringing family members here after they are settled.
Once you have reached that point, you are likely anxious to begin the process of getting your family here. There are many requirements and steps to follow, and it is important to do everything correctly to avoid denials or delays in the process.
You can petition for your immediate relatives to come to the United States. Immediate relatives include your spouse, children or parents. You can also bring a fiancé to the United States with a fiancé visa, but that involves a different process.
You must be a U.S. citizen yourself to bring a spouse over. Your children must be under the age of 21 and unmarried to qualify for a visa and you must be over the age of 21 to obtain a visa to bring your parents here.
Visas are available for non-immediate relatives. However, unlike immediate relatives, the visas are not automatically available. Non-immediate relatives are put into a preference category.
There are four preference categories. A limited number of visas in each category is available each year. Visas are given from each category based on a priority date, and waiting times can vary.
Which category your non-immediate relative falls into depends on various factors, including their age and relationship to you.
What happens after you file your petition?
After you file your petition, your relative will eventually receive notification about next steps.
There are far too many stories about families who have been separated for years due to immigration problems or delays. These stories are heartbreaking, and you can never get back the time spent away from your family.