As Immigration consultants, DP Legal Solutions has helped unite hundreds of families. We’re proud to be the bridge that brings family members from many different countries together in the U.S. It is becoming more difficult to immigrate, the process can be lengthy and there are backlogs, but families who are determined to bring their extended families to this country know that it’s worth the effort.
Immigrants must be sponsored
Under the family reunification program, U.S. citizens, Lawful Permanent Residents, also known as green card holders, can bring their relatives to this country through a process called sponsorship. U.S. citizens can petition the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for spouse, child(ren), parents and siblings. Green card holders can ONLY petition for spouses and unmarried children to come to this country.
In all cases, the petitioning family member in the U.S., the sponsor, must demonstrate that he/she has enough income or assets to support the immigrant once he/she has arrived in the United States. The foreign-born persons wishing to immigrate must meet eligibility requirements as well. The sponsoring relative and the intending immigrant must successfully complete certain steps in the immigration process to come to the United States.
While there are exceptions, and the circumstances may vary, these are the main steps involved in the immigration process.
- USCIS petition approval. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services must approve an immigrant visa petition, I-130 Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the sponsoring relative. U.S. citizens/petitioners must be 21 or older to file petitions for siblings or parents, and they must maintain their principle residence in the U.S.
- Demonstration of income. Sponsors need to demonstrate adequate income or assets to support the intending immigrant and accept legal responsibility for financial support of the family member by completing and signing a document called an Affidavit of Support.
- Application for immigrant visa. Once this document has been completed, the intending immigrant can apply for the immigrant visa.
- Assignment of case number. After USCIS approves the petition, it is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), where the petition is assigned a case number.
- NVC Processing. The NVC will begin preprocessing the applicant’s case by providing the applicant and petitioner with instructions for submitting the appropriate fees.
- Document submission. Once fees have been paid, the NVC will request that the applicant submit the necessary immigrant visa documents.
- Physical examinations and vaccinations. Intended immigrants must undergo medical examinations and receive vaccinations prior to a scheduled visit with the Embassy or Consulate. The examination must be performed by an authorized physician.
- Embassy officer interview. An officer from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate will interview the applicant, and the officer will determine whether the applicant is eligible to receive an immigrant visa in accordance with U.S. immigration law.
- Immigration fees. There are other associated costs that must be paid as part of the immigration process: there are fees for translation, photocopying, obtaining documents, travel to the Embassy or Consulate for the visa interview.
Working with DP Legal Solutions on Immigration matters
The immigration process is analogous to a street with many traffic lights but no signal. If the traffic light were on, it would signal us when to go to reach the next stop light. Unfortunately, the immigration process doesn’t tell you when the light will turn green. It’s up to each petitioner to figure out how the process works–when to go and when to stop—and it can be very frustrating.
DP Legal Solutions has been helping our immigration clients for ten years, and our consultants have developed a unique understanding of the immigration process. But there’s a deeper level of expertise that can only come from experience–many of our consultants are immigrants themselves. Their hands-on knowledge of the immigration process makes them uniquely qualified to help our clients deal with not just the paperwork, but the inevitable frustrations and anxiety that are part of the process of uniting their families in the U.S.
Certain conditions and activities may make an applicant ineligible for a visa
Conditions that may disqualify applicants from getting a visa include drug trafficking, overstaying a previous visa and submitting fraudulent documents. If you are ineligible for a visa, you will be informed by the consular officer and advised whether there is a waiver of the ineligibility available to you and what the waiver process is.