For the past several years, immigration has been a major topic of conversation. For North Carolina residents who came to the United States and wanted to bring family members to join them, the ongoing rhetoric lamenting immigration has been worrisome. Since the political landscape has changed and accompanying changes to policy have begun, those who are thinking about trying to reunite with loved ones from another country should be aware of key points about family-based immigration. Just because immigrants may be welcomed more now than they were in the past does not change the process to come to the U.S. legally.
Family-related green cards and how they are given
Prospective U.S. residents should be cognizant of the rules for green cards for family preference immigrants and green cards for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. With green cards for family preference immigrants, the relatives are split into categories. These apply to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents.
If sons and daughters of a U.S. citizen from another country are unmarried, they are placed in the F1 (first preference) category. For unmarried children under 21 and spouses of lawful permanent residents, they are in F2A (second preference). For sons and daughters who are unmarried and 21 or older, they are in F2B (second preference). Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens are F3 (third preference). Finally, siblings of U.S. citizens who are 21 or older are F4 (fourth preference).
Those who have achieved U.S. citizenship can seek a green card for an immediate relative. Immediate relatives are the following: a spouse; an unmarried child under 21; or a parent who is at least 21. Since there is a limited number of immigrants who can legally move to the United States every year, the category a person is placed in is essential when they assess their chance to get a green card.
Immigrants should not be treated as if they are unwanted
The U.S. is a country whose foundation is based on its friendliness toward immigrants. Although that premise became shaky in the past several years, the laws still allow people to come to the country legally. People who are already in the U.S. as permanent residents or U.S. citizens can bring family members over if they meet the criteria.
It may be complicated to understand the rules presented by the United States Citizen Immigration Service (USCIS), but that does not mean family members should give up on trying to bring relatives to live with them. Understanding the rules and the process for immigration is crucial. When moving forward with bringing loved ones into the U.S. legally, it may be useful to have professional assistance throughout the process.