Families often find themselves separated by vast distances in today’s globalized world. Grandparents, the pillars of wisdom and love in many families, are no exception to this phenomenon.
Many individuals and families residing in the United States yearn to reunite with their grandparents who may be living abroad. The good news is that it is indeed possible to bring grandparents to the United States under certain circumstances.
Eligibility for bringing grandparents to the United States
Generally, the U.S. immigration system prioritizes immediate family members, such as spouses, parents and unmarried children, for immigration. Grandparents are considered other relatives under the family-based immigration category, which has limited availability.
Family-based immigration is the primary route to bringing your grandparents to the United States. To achieve this, you must sponsor your grandparents as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. Remember, if you are a permanent resident (green card holder), your options for sponsoring your grandparents are more limited. Moreover, the waiting period may be even longer than for U.S. citizens.
The application process
To initiate the process of bringing your grandparents to the United States, you will need to file a petition on their behalf. This petition establishes the qualifying family relationship. First, you’ll need to accurately complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and turn it in at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Next, you’ll be required to pay the filing fees and provide the necessary supporting documentation.
As previously mentioned, the availability of visas for grandparents falls under the Family Preference Categories. The waiting time for these visas can be lengthy, often spanning several years. The U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin provides information on visa availability, which is updated monthly.
Once a visa becomes available, your grandparents will need to undergo consular processing in their home country. This involves:
- Completing visa application forms
- Attending a medical examination
- Attending an interview at the U.S. consulate
It’s important to note that as the sponsor, you must demonstrate your ability to support your grandparents in the United States financially.
Bringing your grandparents to the United States can be complex and often lengthy process. It requires careful planning, adherence to immigration laws and patience. While the process may seem daunting, the reward of reuniting with your loved ones is immeasurable.