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Family-Sponsored Immigration Petitions


In the United States, many people wish to bring their alien spouses abroad to the U.S. and live together. Many aliens, with legal status or out of status, get married in the United States with U.S. citizens, or permanent residents, or aliens with valid non-immigration status, or aliens out of status. All of them, absolutely, are concerned about their own and their spouses' immigration benefit or status very much unless they don't want to stay here any longer.

Generally speaking, a U.S. citizen is able to confer immigration benefits to his alien spouse where the spouse is already in the U.S. Similarly a U.S. permanent resident may confer immigration benefits for his alien spouse.

Family-Sponsored Immigration Petitions

Immediate relatives" of a U.S. citizen
"Immediate relatives" of a U.S. citizen" refers to parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions, unlike other close family members of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. Namely, they can apply for the permanent resident status without any waiting time. Other close family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are divided into several groups called "preferences". Each Preference is given a numerical quota per year to limit the number of immigrants admitted into the United States.

Other close family members of a U.S. citizen
Other group of family members of a U.S. citizen can qualify to immigrate to the United States, but unlike immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, they are subject to a numerical limit of immigrant visas available to them each year. These close family members of U.S. citizens are divided into several groups called "Preferences". The higher the preference, the quicker the alien will be eligible to receive a green card.

First preference: Unmarried Children over 21 year of age of U.S. Citizensexternal link
Third preference: Married Children of U.S. Citizensexternal link
Fourth preference: Brothers or Sisters of U.S. Citizensexternal link

Family members of permanent residents
Spouse and unmarried children of a permanent resident can apply for green card. They are categorized as the Second Preference group of people who are eligible for immigration to the United States.

Second preference: Immigration Information for Spouses or Children of Permanent Residentsexternal link


We have introduced various categories of immediate relative or close family relative based immigration. If the Petitioner filed I-130 to USCIS and I-130 has been approved, but the petitioner was dead before the beneficiary’s I-485 application or immigration visa is approved. USCIS will automatically revoke the approval of a petition in the event of the petitioner’s death. However, the law also provides for the exercise of discretion when revocation would be inappropriate for humanitarian reasons. This consideration is usually applied in cases where revocation would create a harsh result contrary to the goal of family reunification.

The Family Sponsor Immigration Act of 2002 (PL 107-150) sets forth parameters within which reinstatement can be considered.

In order for the reinstatement to be considered, the beneficiary should provide these below documents:

1. The request for reinstatement must be in writing by the beneficiary of the original petition or by a substitute sponsor if the beneficiary is a minor child.

2. Provide as much documentation as is available to identify and document the humanitarian reasons for reinstatement. Such documentation may include, but is not limited to:

  1. Evidence of long time residence and any equity in the U.S.
  2. Evidence of relationship to other family members with evidence of their immigration status in the U.S.
  3. Evidence of health related factors that would establish the need for the reinstatement of the petition.
  4. Evidence of any other factors supporting reinstatement if the beneficiary is not permitted to immigrate to the U.S.

3. The new sponsor is required to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to show that he/she has adequate means of financial support and that the beneficiary of the petition is not likely to become a public charge.

  1. The substitute sponsor must complete affidavit to support.
  2. The new sponsor must be the: spouse, parent, mother-in-law, father-in-law, sibling, child (if at least 18 years of age), son, daughter, son-in-law, daughter-in-law, sister-in-law, brother-in-law, grandparent, grandchild or legal guardian of the beneficiary.

Our law firm has helped lots of families to successfully immigrate to US under the above law. If the family needs more detail legal consultation, you can contact this office directly.