Immediate Relative Sponsorship falls under family-based immigration and allows U.S. citizens in Michigan to sponsor close relatives as lawful permanent residents (green card holders).
While other family categories have limited visa quotas each year, Immediate Relative Sponsorship offers unlimited visa quotas per applicant, making this program appealing to eligible applicants.
For Immediate Relative Sponsorship to be possible in Michigan, petitioner (U.S. citizen resident in the State) must fulfill several criteria:
U.S. citizens alone can serve as sponsors for immediate relatives. Lawful permanent residents do not qualify for this particular form of sponsorship.
For an immediate family petition to be presented successfully, its sponsor must be 21 or over.
The following are the relationship requirements:
- Spouse: Legally married to the U.S. citizen petitioner;
- Unmarried Child Under 21 (biological/Stepchild or adopted child of U.S citizen petitioner)
- Parent: If a U.S. citizen petitioner is at least 21, they can sponsor their biological or adoptive parent to immigrate to America.
Filing Form I-130
As part of the application process, U.S. citizen petitioners will first need to file Form I-130 with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to establish their qualifying relationships between themselves and immediate relatives living abroad. This form establishes eligibility.
Review by USCIS
Once they receive the I-130 petition, USCIS officials will review it to ensure all required documents have been included and the petitioner meets eligibility criteria. If any issues arise during the review, the petitioner(s) could request additional evidence or clarification.
National Visa Center (NVC) Processing
Once USCIS approves an I-130 petition, it will be forwarded to NVC for further processing. NVC will contact the petitioner with instructions to submit the necessary documentation and fees for processing.
Immediate relatives living outside the U.S. must appear for an interview at either their consulate or embassy of origin to determine eligibility and admissibility of applicants seeking U.S. immigration benefits. A consular officer will assess each application that comes through to determine its admissibility or inadmissibility.
As Immediate Relative Sponsorship timeframes can differ depending on changes to immigration laws and procedures, individuals must stay up-to-date on USCIS and NVC processing times to set expectations correctly and manage expectations properly.
As the petitioner for immediate relatives seeking immigration, petitioners must demonstrate they can financially support those looking to immigrate by filing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). This forms a legally binding support contract between themselves and those seeking sponsorship.
When applying for green card approval, immediate relatives who are married for less than two years will be granted conditional residency status for up to two years after green card approval; after that, they must apply to remove these conditions to gain permanent residency status.
Immediate Relative Sponsorship can provide U.S. citizens in Michigan an effective path towards bringing close relatives over for permanent residency, offering the rewards of reconnecting and building lives together as part of immediate relative sponsorship successfully.
Prospective sponsors should seek legal advice as soon as they start this process to help make sure it runs smoothly and follow any updates to immigration policy changes as part of this journey.