A U.S. Citizen Can Sponsor 4 Types of Relatives for a Green Card

Each year, the United States issues green cards to about 1.1 million people.  Those who obtain green cards, considered “lawful permanent residents,” are then eligible to gain U.S. citizenship within three to five years.  Interestingly, about half of those who receive green cards each year go to the immediate family members of U.S. citizens.  


Indeed, if you are a U.S. citizen, you can sponsor your relatives so they can obtain a green card, and ultimately achieve citizenship in the U.S.  In this article, we will discuss the 4 types of relatives you can sponsor as a U.S. citizen.  


If, after reading this article, you have more questions about the marriage-based green card process, we invite you to contact us at Ashoori Law.  Feel free to call us at +1-818-741-1117 or you may schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.


4 Types of Relatives You Can Sponsor for a Green Card


The four types of relatives you can sponsor for a green card, as a U.S. citizen, are:


  1. Your spouse
  2. Your parents (if you’re at least 21 years old)
  3. Your children
  4. Your siblings (your brothers and sisters)


As you might expect, there are a number of requirements in connection with each type of relative you seek to sponsor.


1. Sponsoring Your Spouse

As a U.S. citizen sponsoring your spouse, you would need to demonstrate your citizenship to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) by presenting a U.S. passport, U.S. birth certificate, Consular Report of Birth, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship.  In addition, here is some of the other documentation you may need to provide:

  • A copy of your civil marriage certificate;
  • Proof that all previous marriages were terminated (such as a divorce decree);
  • Passport-style photos of you and your spouse; 
  • Evidence that your marriage is real and bona-fide (joint bills, photos together, etc.) and
  • Evidence of any legal name changes for you and your spouse.


2. Sponsoring Your Parents

In order to have your parents live in the U.S. as green card holders, you must be a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.  In addition to the USCIS application form to sponsor your parents, you would also need to present documentation to USCIS proving your citizenship in the U.S., and a birth certificate or other documentation showing your relationship to your parents.  


3. Sponsoring Your Children

To have either your adult or minor children obtain green cards based on your U.S. citizenship, you need to prove your citizenship, and proof that you are the biological parent, adoptive parent, or step-parent of the child.  One thing to keep in mind with regard to children of a U.S. citizen is that USCIS has different terms depending upon the status of the child.  A “child” is an unmarried person under 21 years of age.  By contrast, a “son” or “daughter” is a person who is married or is 21 years of age or older.


4. Sponsoring Your Siblings

In order to sponsor a sibling to get a green card, you must be a U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age or older, similar to the requirements for sponsoring a parent.  It is worthy of note that you can sponsor not only your biological siblings, but also your siblings related through adoption or through a step-parent.  


Have an Experienced Immigration Attorney from Ashoori Law Help You with Your Family-Sponsored Green Card Applications


My name is Michael Ashoori and I'm a U.S. immigration lawyer and the founder of Ashoori Law. As an immigration lawyer, I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.  If you have any questions, feel free to schedule a free consultation by clicking this link.

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Michael Ashoori, Esq.

U.S. Immigration Lawyer

I’m a U.S. immigration lawyer and I help families, professionals, investors, and entrepreneurs get visas, green cards, and citizenship to the United States.

Since starting my law firm, I’ve helped hundreds of people from all over the world with their immigration needs. I’m very passionate, hard-working, and committed to my clients.

Got a question? Send me an email.