The Family Based Immigration is a resource offered by the U.S. immigration law with which a U.S. citizen, or lawful permanent resident, may petition for a family member to obtain legal status in the United States. While this procedure is essential for family reunification, not all relatives of the U.S. citizen may be eligible to acquire legal status.
Although U.S. immigration law does not allow a U.S. citizen to petition for a niece or a nephew, there are other alternatives that can be pursued to make this possible. If you need help with your family based immigration request case or have questions about your eligibility, Jaskot Law is here to help. Contact an experienced attorney today and receive personalized legal assistance.
Who can petition a family member for permanent residency in the United States?
U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to request for certain family members to obtain permanent residence in the United States. However, there are different categories and requirements to be fulfilled in order to be able to access such permanent residence through family bases immigration.
Family petition requirements
Some of the essential requirements to be eligible for permanent residency through the family request include proving the relationship between the applicant and the beneficiary. In addition, it will be necessary to demonstrate compliance with other relevant eligibility requirements, such as those listed below.
- Type of relationship: The U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident must be an eligible relative of the family member seeking to immigrate.
- Financial Capacity: The applicant is required to have the financial capacity to support the immigrant relative in the United States.
- Place of residence: It is essential that the applicant’s primary residence be in the United States.
- Background: It is of utmost importance that the immigrant relative has no serious criminal record and demonstrate that he or she will not become a public liability to the U.S. government.
The process of applying for permanent residency in the United States for a family member can be complex and requires a clear understanding of the immigration laws. Therefore, having the advice of an experienced immigration attorney will ensure that the steps are followed correctly, and that all necessary documentation is submitted for a successful application.
Can a U.S. citizen petition a nephew for permanent residency?
A U.S. citizen cannot directly sponsor a nephew or niece, since, unfortunately, nephews and nieces are not on the list of relatives who are eligible for permanent residency in the United States. However, despite these restrictions, there are other legal alternatives to help a nephew obtain legal residency on U.S. territory.
Family relationships eligible for U.S. Citizen request
Under U.S. immigration law, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident may file a family based immigration request to help certain members of your family obtain lawful permanent residence in the country. These eligible family members are divided into categories sort by preference.
- First preference: Includes unmarried sons/daughters of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or older.
- Second preference: Includes spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age and unmarried sons/daughters over 21 years of age.
- Third preference: Includes married sons/daughters.
- Fourth Preference: Includes siblings of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or older.
Alternatives in applying for permanent residency for a nephew as a U.S. Citizen
While it is not possible for a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in the United States to apply for residency for a nephew or niece, there are other alternatives for these individuals to be considered eligible for lawful permanent residency.
For example, if a U.S. citizen decides to sponsor a sibling to reside permanently in the U.S., and the sibling has children under the age of 21, these children may be eligible to immigrate with their parents.
This process can be complex and a thorough understanding of immigration law is essential. For this reason, Jaskot Law offers experienced legal guidance, and has trained attorneys available to provide you with the help you need. Contact our team and explore all the alternatives for your case.
Restrictions and Limitations on Requesting a Nephew as a U.S. Citizen
The family based immigration request process has restrictions and limitations on who may acquire permanent residency in the United States. Thus, a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident will not be able to petition for a nephew or niece to gain access to U.S. residency.
Steps to apply for permanent residency for a nephew as a U.S. citizen
Although a U.S. citizen cannot directly sponsor a nephew for permanent residence, there are other ways to help him or her immigrate to the country. Among the alternatives available is the family request of one of the parents of the nephew or niece who wishes to emigrate, for which the following steps must be followed:
- Step 1: File a family request for a parent of the nephew or niece who wishes to become a permanent resident in the United States.
- Step 2: Wait for the parent to become a permanent U.S. resident.
- Step 3: File a family request for that son/daughter who wishes to reside legally and permanently on U.S. soil.
- Step 4: If the application is approved, an Adjustment of Status must be requested, whereby the beneficiary can obtain lawful permanent residence in the United States.
What is the required form for the petition of a nephew as a U.S. citizen?
To initiate the family petition process, the following must be submitted Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the family relationship between you and the person for whom you are applying.
I-130: Petition for Alien Relative
U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may establish the family relationship with foreign nationals who wish to immigrate to the U.S. through Form I-130 according to USCIS. This is the first step in the process to help a family member become a lawful permanent resident.
This form must be submitted by the sponsor, who must be at least 21 years of age, to request a family petition for a spouse or child. There are no age restrictions for applying for a parent or sibling.
Additional documents required along with Form I-130
In addition to the Form I-130, additional documents must be submitted to support the application and to prove your relationship to the beneficiary. These documents include the following:
- Proof of the applicant’s U.S. citizenship or permanent resident status.
- Financial income or assets that support the ability to financially support the family member.
- If the family member is in the United States, proof of legal entry into the country will be required.
- If applicable, Form I-485 for Adjustment of Status may be requested.
What is the importance of legal counsel in the process of petitioning a nephew as a U.S. citizen?
Navigating through the U.S. immigration system can be an overwhelming process, therefore, legal counsel is essential in the process of petitioning for a nephew to become a U.S. citizen. Immigration attorneys will not only ensure that all documents and forms are completed correctly, but will also increase the likelihood of a successful resolution.
Avoid complications and errors in applications, which can result in significant delays or even denials with the help of Jaskot Law. Our immigration attorneys are more than familiar with the process and its potential pitfalls, and will work to ensure that your case is handled efficiently and effectively.
Who can ask for a nephew in the United States?
U.S. immigration law does not allow direct petitions for nephews and nieces. However, the U.S. citizen or permanent resident applicant may first apply for his or her brother or sister and once they obtain their residency, they may apply for their child.
What type of relatives can a U.S. citizen request?
A U.S. citizen may petition for certain family members for family reunification in the United States. These include your spouse, children, parents and siblings. Eligible relatives and family members are divided into preference categories and must meet certain requirements.
Who are the immediate family members?
Immediate relatives are defined as the spouse of a U.S. citizen, unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen.
How many siblings can a citizen ask for?
A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident in the U.S. has no limit on the number of siblings he or she may apply for. However, there is an annual limit on the number of visas available to siblings of U.S. citizens.