Immigrant Visas FOR USA
Family-based, Immediate Relatives
Who is eligible?
Those eligible are as follows: spouse of a U.S. citizen; parent or step-parent of a U.S citizen; child or step-child of a U.S. citizen; and spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen.
Note: A step-parent or child will qualify for immigration only if the marriage creating the step-parent/child relationship occurs before the child’s 18th birthday.
How do I apply?
The first step in applying for an immigrant visa is for the U.S. citizen (petitioner) to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A separate petition must be filed for each person immigrating. A U.S. citizen resident in India or Bhutan may file the petition, Form I-130, with the USCIS at the U.S. Embassy, New Delhi (mere passage of time is not sufficient to demonstrate residency for petition-filing purposes, see the USCIS website for more details); a U.S. citizen resident in the U.S. should contact their local USCIS office for further information.
Note: A petition cannot be filed for a spouse until the marriage ceremony has taken place. The natural child of a U.S. citizen may have claim to U.S. citizenship. A petition cannot be filed until it has been established that the child is not a U.S. citizen.
Note: If the U.S. citizen and immigrant visa applicant reside in India and the U.S. citizen is filing the I-130 with USCIS in New Delhi, it will be possible to begin the administrative processing of the immigrant visa application before the petition is approved and received by the relevant Immigrant Visa Unit in India.
As already discussed, the key eligibility requirement for parents immigrating to America is that they are sponsored by a current American citizen. This entails a range of responsibilities for both the parent(s) migrating to the USA and for the sponsoring citizen.
The sponsoring United States citizen must accept legal responsibility for their parents in terms of financial support. This means that the sponsor must sign an affidavit of support to this effect, which will endure until the sponsored parent has either become a USA citizen or can be credited with 10 years of work. In addition, if the sponsored relative should at any time receive any means-tested public benefits, the responsibility to repay these will lie with the sponsor.
Sponsors must also be able to demonstrate that they meet the financial eligibility requirements to qualify as a sponsor. The household income must equate to 125% or more of the US poverty level for the household size.
Parents being sponsored by a US citizen will also be responsible for part of the process. The initial stage of immigrating to the US in this manner involves an visa petition being filed by the sponsor and approved by the United States Bureau of Services (USCIS). Beyond this, the parent or parents must go to the US consulate in their country in order to complete the process.
As legal permanent residents in the USA, parents who successfully enter the country through sponsorship from United State citizens will be entitled to live in the USA indefinitely. As with other routes to an , a grant of permanent residency permits the holder to commence living and working in the USA. Successful candidates may therefore seek and undertake employment upon receipt of their Permanent Residence Cards.