Many U.S. citizens in Florida have family members overseas who would like to come to the U.S. and become permanent residents. U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their immediate relatives for legal permanent resident status, often referred to as a green card. Immediate relatives are defined to include the citizen's spouse; parents and siblings if the citizen is over age 21; and the citizen's married or unmarried children.
When loves ones live overseas, it can be very hard seeing them only once or a few times a year. The American dream is still alive and well, but that doesn't mean those who seek it do not have to make sacrifices. One of the sacrifices people often make after immigrating to America is the distance from beloved family members. Now that one is established in Miami, it may be time to think about beginning the immigration process for loves ones located in other countries.
For many immigrants who have successfully started a new life in Florida, helping family members join them in the U.S. is a high priority. U.S. immigration law provides a process for family members of American citizens and permanent residents to obtain a visa, reunite with family members here and begin the journey to U.S. citizenship.
In our global community, relationships can develop in many situations, and often span time and distance. In some cases, romantic connections can happen across borders, between people of different nationalities. Many Americans travel for pleasure, study abroad or work for globally-connected companies. Thus, meeting someone and falling in love is not at all uncommon.
If you are a citizen of the United States, you may be able to help your relatives gain permanent residence. A citizen of the U.S. can petition for a spouse or their children to apply for permanent residency. If you are unmarried, and over 21 years of age, you may also petition for your parents or siblings.
Any person who is in the U.S. on a visa or is waiting to come to the U.S. for a job or to reconnect with non-immediate relatives checks monthly bulletins published on the State Department's website regularly. These bulletins include information on priority dates and let people know when they are able to either submit an application for a visa to come to the U.S. or change their status to a lawful permanent resident.
When an immigrant hopes to become a United States citizen, there are a wide variety of visa types to choose from, but only certain pathways might apply to a particular person's needs. One of the most common pathways to citizenship and/or permanent residency is to obtain a visa based on the legal status of a family member who has already obtained his or her U.S. citizenship.
Bringing family members into the United States from other countries means that you will have to go through the family immigration process. Family immigration is used to bring immediate family members into the country with a green card. In some cases, even family members who aren't classified as immediate family members can be eligible for family-based immigration.
A foreign-born individual who would like to come to Florida in order to marry a U.S. citizen may be able to qualify for a fiancé visa. Before a fiancé visa can be issued, the foreign person's fiancé must file Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiancé. Once the petition is approved, the foreign fiancé will receive a K-1 nonimmigrant visa so that they can enter the United States.
Special citizenship rules apply to individuals born in Florida or elsewhere in the U.S. to foreign diplomats who are officially assigned to the United States. Children of foreign diplomats, that is, are not considered U.S. citizens at birth even if they are born on U.S. soil. They may, however, be eligible for a green card as a permanent resident.