Once an immigrant attains lawful permanent resident status, he or she gains many benefits. One benefit centers on the ability to petition to bring relatives into the United States. Lawful permanent residents may one day become U.S. citizens, but until naturalization occurs, green card holders living in California and elsewhere will find their relative petitions restricted.
Statutes define what relatives are eligible
Immigration law related to family petitions and unifications come from Congress; the rules do not apply differently based on any factors other than immigration status. Under the law, a lawful permanent resident may only petition on behalf of a spouse and unmarried sons or daughters. A son or daughter may be over or under the age of 21. Green card holders may not petition on behalf of parents.
U.S. citizens may petition for the same relatives as a green card holder along with married children, siblings and parents. Even then, restrictions and rules apply. The U.S. citizen must be 21 years old or more to petition for siblings and parents.
The petition submission process
Petitioning for a relative requires completing the necessary immigration forms correctly. Someone petitioning for a spouse must provide a marriage certificate. When petitioning for a son or daughter, a birth certificate or adoption papers must accompany the submission.
Improper submissions could result in requests for evidence. Insufficient responses to requests for evidence may lead to a denial. Hopefully, a successful appeal could overcome a denial. Working with a legal professional to submit all initial petitions and any follow-up responses might reduce the chances of unfavorable responses.
Immigration law may confuse lawful permanent residents seeking to bring their relatives to the United States. An immigration attorney may help petitioners with the process.