Other Family Members

Family Immigration

Other Family Members

The most commonly requested family immigration cases are for spouses.  However, U.S. immigration law allows many other family members (of both U.S. Citizens and Permanent Residents) to immigrate to the United States (receive a Green Card).  

Available Categories

      •    For United States Citizens
           o   Spouses
           o   Parents
           o   Children (under 21 years of age)
           o   Unmarried Sons and Daughters (over 21 years of age)
           o   Married Sons and Daughters
           o   Brothers and Sisters
      •   For United States Permanent Residents
           o   Spouses
           o   Children (under 21 years of age)
           o   Unmarried Sons and Daughters (over 21 years of age)

Per the list above, any individual who wants to bring family members to the United States would be wise to become a U.S. citizen as many more immigration options are available. Further, immigration may be faster for relatives of U.S Citizens.

Immigration Process

For any of the relatives listed above, the basic immigration process is the same:


The U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident files an application on behalf of their relative with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States.  In this application you will provide evidence that will confirm your relationship to your relative.  When this application is approved it will mean that the government has agreed that you can sponsor your relative to come to the United States.


Your relative may apply for a U.S. Green Card through a United States consulate in their home country.  This process is called “Consular Processing.”  Relatives who are in the country and immediately eligible to immigrate can file for “Adjustment of Status,” an application for a green card made within the United States.  When applying for a Green Card, the U.S. government will perform background checks and ask various questions to confirm that your relative is otherwise legally eligible to immigrate.

An important part of the immigration process is financial sponsorship.  When applying for a green card you will have to document that your relative will have means of support in the United States.  

The BIG Challenge of Bringing Whole Family to the United States

While the U.S. immigration process is very complex, for many the most difficult part of the immigration process is the wait.  Many are surprised to discover the factors that determine the speed at which their relatives can come to the United States.


The primary factors that will determine how fast your relative can immigrate to the United States will be their country of birth, their immigration category (spouse, child, brother/sister, etc.) and their sponsor (whether you are a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident).  The results can be staggering.

Spouses of U.S. Citizens can immigrate to the United States immediately, their parents too.  Meanwhile, spouses of permanent residents may have a wait to immigrate, while their parents are not eligible for immigration.  Brothers and Sisters of U.S. citizens tend to wait decade or more, but it can be closer to twenty years for some individuals.  

The wait times for immigration of relatives are published by the Department of State in a document called the “Visa Bulletin.”  

A skilled immigration attorney can help you to understand the factors that will impact your relative’s immigration to the United States as well as how long the process might take.  

The Role of an Attorney

The attorneys of Sam Shihab & Associates have a wide variety of experience in family-based immigration cases.  We can help with the basics of the process as well as serious issues such as unavailable records, criminal issues, and the like.  

Please call or email us today to learn more about immigration sponsorship for your family members.