Mira Law Group

Process and Requirements to Apply for Family Reunification in the U.S.

Family reunification is one of the fundamental pillars of U.S. immigration policy. It allows citizens and lawful permanent residents of the country to sponsor their family members to join you on U.S. soil. If you are interested in reuniting with your loved ones, here is a guide to the process and requirements for applying for family reunification.

1. Determine your Eligibility:

To apply for family reunification, you must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder). In addition, you must meet specific requirements based on your status.

2. Family Reunification Categories:

Family reunification categories are divided into two main categories:

  • Immediate Family:

    For spouses of U.S. citizens, parents of U.S. citizens over the age of 21, and unmarried U.S. citizens under the age of 21.

  • Family Preference Categories:

    For more distant relatives, such as married and unmarried children over 21 of U.S. citizens and permanent residents, siblings of U.S. citizens, and other cases.

3. File the Petition:

You, as a citizen or legal resident, must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative Petition, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary, demonstrating the family relationship.

4. Wait for Processing:

Processing time may vary depending on the reunification category and the number of pending applications. Once the petition is approved, both you and the beneficiary will be notified.

5. Priority Dates

In the family preference categories, priority dates are used to determine when the Immigrant Visa application can be filed abroad. These dates are based on demand and available visa capacity.

6. Immigrant Visa Application:

Once the priority date is in effect, the beneficiary may file the Immigrant Visa Application (Form DS-260) with the Department of State. If in the United States, he/she may adjust status by filing Form I-485.

7. Medical Examination and Interview:

Beneficiaries must undergo a medical examination by a physician authorized by USCIS. They must also attend an interview at the U.S. consulate in their home country.

8. Approval and Arrival in the United States:

Once the immigrant visa is approved, the beneficiary will be able to enter the United States and will be admitted as a legal permanent resident.

9. Lawful Permanent Residence (Green Card):

The beneficiary will receive a Green Card, which will allow him/her to live and work in the United States permanently. After a certain period of time, he/she will be able to apply for U.S. citizenship if he/she meets the requirements.

Final Considerations:

It is important to be informed and follow the proper procedures for applying for family reunification. Each situation is unique, so having the advice of an immigration attorney can be very helpful in making sure your application is handled correctly and efficiently.

Family reunification is a process that can be exciting but also complex. With patience, preparation and the right guidance, you can unite with your loved ones and begin a new stage of your life in the United States. If you are ready to take this step, start exploring the requirements and process of family reunification today!