As a permanent resident of the United States, you may help your relative immigrate to US based on your status. For that you will have to sponsor your relative and be able to prove that you have enough income or assets to support your relative when he/she comes to the US. You start the process by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
As a permanent resident of the US, you can file a petition for the following relatives:
Husband or wife; and
Unmarried child(ren), regardless of age.
However, only US citizens can petition for married children. While submitting your petition, you should provide evidence to prove your relationship to the person for whom you are filing.
On filing an I-130 relative petition and proving a qualifying relationship, it gives your relative a place in line for a visa number among others from the same country or region waiting to immigrate to US based on that same kind of relationship. When your relative reaches the top of the line, he/she may be eligible to immigrate.
For example: You file an I-130 petition for your spouse and on approval, your petition gives your spouse a place in the line of people from the same country who are also husbands and wives of permanent residents. Your spouse’s place in line will be based on the date you file your petition. So it is always recommended to filing as soon as possible. While there is no waiting line for most immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, sons/daughters above 21 years old will have a waiting time. So if you get naturalized while your relatives are waiting for visas, they may be able to immigrate to US sooner.
In many instances,when your spouse’s place in line is reached, his/her unmarried children under 21 years old can follow to join the relative through the same visa petition.
A petition for an unmarried child will be automatically revoked if he/she marries, as there is no visa classification for a married son or daughter of a permanent resident. Whereas, if you get naturalized before your child marries, you can continue the immigration process by filing a new I-130 visa petition for your child.
For most relatives, the high demand and the limits set by law on how many people can immigrate to US each year means that they may have to wait several years. When your relative reaches the front of the line, the US Department of State will contact your relative and invite him/her to apply for an immigrant visa.
The USCIS will mail you a receipt confirming that they have received your petition. If your petition is incomplete, they may reject it, or may ask you for more evidence or information, which will delay processing. So ensure that you send all required papers the first time to avoid delay.
The USCIS will notify you when they make a decision. Petitions with long wait times may not be approved immediately. Normally, if they approve the petition, they will send it to the US Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC). When your relative’s place in line permits issuance of a visa number, the NVC will notify you and your relative, inviting him/her and qualifying dependents to apply for immigrant visas.
While filing a relative petition, when the time comes for your relative to immigrate, you should also agree to be his/her financial sponsor by filing Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. If you do not meet the financial qualifications, then other individuals will need to make this commitment along with you.
On filing an I-130 relative petition and proving a qualifying relationship, it gives your relative a place in line for a visa number among others from the same country or region waiting to immigrate to US based on that same kind of relationship.
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