Bringing Family Members to the U.S. – Who Can Immigrate With Your Clients and When
将家庭成员带来美国 - 谁可以与你的客户同时移民
Family unity is often a critical concern for clients weighing the pros and cons of immigration decisions. Clients considering establishing permanent residency in the United States want to know who can immigrate with them and how quickly the move can be accomplished. The U.S. system for family immigration and sponsorship can be easily explained to clients by breaking the explanation down into two distinct categories. First, family members who can come with the client when they themselves immigrate. Second, family members who can be sponsored at a later date after the client establishes their own permanent residency.
Family Members Who Can Immigrate at the Same Time as the Client:
As a general rule, the only family members who are eligible to become U.S. permanent residents at the same time as the principal applicant are spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21. This includes biological children, step children under 18 at the time of the marriage, and children adopted while under the age of 16. In some, but not all, circumstances children who turn 21 after the immigration process has been initiated but before receiving permanent residency may still be eligible to receive permanent residency as dependents. Clients wishing to obtain U.S. permanent residency for children over the age of 18 should be sure to mention this to their immigration attorney at the start of the immigration process to ensure the child does not become ineligible due to age.
Family Members Who Can Be Sponsored After the Client Becomes a Permanent Resident:
U.S. immigration law allows permanent residents to sponsor some family members for permanent residency. However, unlike spouses and children who apply for and receive permanent residency at the same time as the client, client, family members sponsored by someone who is already a permanent resident can face significantly long wait times before being allowed to immigrate. U.S. permanent residents are allowed to sponsor the following types of family members:
- A new spouse or a pre-existing spouse who did not immigrate at the same time as the permanent resident; 没有与申请人一起申请的配偶
- Unmarried children under the age of 21; 21岁以下的未婚子女
- Unmarried children over the age of 21;21岁以上的未婚子女
Under the current system spouses and children under the age of 21 can expect to wait up to at least two years before receiving permanent residence and unmarried children over the age of 21 must wait for approximately seven years. Given these delays clients should approach the permanent residency of their dependents carefully and, where possible, consider planning for their dependents to apply for and receive permanent residency at the same time as the client him or herself.
Finally, If a client opts to pursue U.S. citizenship after becoming a permanent resident the types of family members eligible for sponsorship expand to include married sons or daughters, parents, and siblings. Additional information on the amount of time these individuals can expect to wait before receiving permanent residency is available from the U.S. Department of State’s monthly visa bulletin.