How Can I Help My Relative Become a U.S. Permanent Resident?

Are you a U.S. citizen with relatives hoping to become U.S. permanent residents? If so, you may be wondering if you can help and how you can help. Fortunately, there are things you can do to help your relatives become U.S. permanent residents, or “green card holders.” Here, we will go through some of what you will need to do to help your relatives in this process.

How Can I Help My Relative Become a U.S. Permanent Resident?

As a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor relatives to become U.S. permanent residents. To sponsor a relative for this purpose, certain requirements will need to be met. For instance, you must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives that will establish the familial relationship between you and the relative you are looking to sponsor. Sometimes, Form I-130 can be filed along with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, which is the application to establish U.S. permanent residence.

As part of the application process, you will need to show that, as a sponsor of your relative, you have sufficient income or assets to support your relative should they need it when they come to the U.S. and establish permanent residency. Once you have successfully and completely filled out Form I-130, you will file it and your relative will be placed in an immigration line. Those in this line include others that are waiting in the same country of origin based on the same familial relationship as your relative to establish permanent residency in the U.S. Once your relative gets to the front of this line, a background check will be required and other admission requirements will need to be met before your relative is then permitted to immigrate to the U.S. The sooner you file, the sooner your relative will be placed in the waiting line.

It should be noted that a spouse, parent, or unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen will not have to wait in such a line. A U.S. citizen can file a petition to sponsor a relative for permanent resident status if the relative is a spouse or a child. A U.S. citizen can also sponsor parents and siblings who are at least 21 years or older. In many instances, the question then follows as to whether a U.S. citizen can do anything to help out the family members of a relative they are sponsoring. Most of the time, your relative will be able to have a spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age join them by applying for an immigrant visa once your relative reaches the front of the wait line.

Before committing yourself to sponsoring a relative to become a permanent resident, you should be aware of what you are actually committing yourself to. Everyone immigrating based on a familial relationship is required to have a financial sponsor. As the sponsor for your relative’s immigration, it is likely that you will also need to be the financial sponsor. This means you must complete Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. Should you be unable to make such a promise or be unable to meet the financial qualifications to make such a promise, someone else will need to agree to make this commitment.

Immigration Law Attorneys

If you have any questions about how the immigration and nationality laws in the United States may impact you or your family or want to access additional information about the United States or Canadian immigration and nationality laws, please feel free to get in touch with the immigration and nationality lawyers at NPZ Law Group. You can send us an email at, or you can call us at 201-670-0006 extension 104. In addition, we invite you to find more information on our website at