The unification of families is viewed by Congress as one of the most important aspects of immigration law. America believes in the importance of family; this belief is reflected in the history of this country and revealed in the establishment of new laws. Immigration law supports the reunification of families and as such grant privileges to members of the nuclear family of U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents.
If you are U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident, you may be able to keep your family together by petitioning for them to join you here in the United States, permanently.
There are two family-based immigration categories. The category a foreign national qualifies for depends on whether the petitioner is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, and the foreign national’s relationship to the petitioner.
Grandparents, grandchildren, nephews, nieces, uncles, aunts, cousins, and in-laws cannot be directly petitioned. The total number of immigrants allowed to immigrate to the U.S. under the family preference category is limited each year. Many more people petition under this category than there are visas available. As such, there is often a long wait for immigrants before they may legally enter the United States. The visa bulletin is helpful to determine where in the waiting line your loved one’s application may be.
There is no limit on availability of visas for immediate relatives. In some cases, if an immediate relative is currently in the United States, he or she may be eligible to adjust status.
Currently, lawful permanent residents are not permitted to petition for parents and siblings. Permanent resident may petition for parents or siblings after going through the process of naturalization and becoming a U.S. citizen.