How to sponsor your relative for a Green Card

If you have a relative who lives outside the U.S. and is not a citizen or permanent resident of the U.S., you can help them get a green card.

In order to sponsor a foreign relative for a green card, you will be required to prove that you have enough income and assets to support them by filing out Form I-864. There will also be other documents you’ll have to give to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

These are the types of relatives that U.S. citizens may help get a green card:

  • Spouse
  • Children
  • Parents
  • Siblings
  • A fiance residing outside of the U.S. and their children
  • Children of a spouse

Filing an I-130

To establish your relationship to the relative that you want to sponsor, you’ll also be required to file Form I-130. If the relative that you’re sponsoring lives abroad, then you must file Form I-130 with USCIS and submit proof of your own citizenship or permanent residency. Be sure to also include evidence proving your relationship to each person that you’ll be sponsoring.

Immediate relatives of citizens are not required to wait for any amount of time in order to immigrate to the U.S. These types of relatives include spouses, parents or unmarried children under the age of 21. However, other types of relatives may be required to wait while petitions that were filed on their behalf are processed. During this waiting period, when a visa number does become available, the U.S. Department of State will contact your relative and invite them to apply for an immigrant visa.

In some cases, relatives of citizens or permanent residents may already be living in the U.S. with a visa. Those who have relatives already in the U.S. may be able to file Form I-485, an Application to Adjust Status. This form should be sent in at the same time at the I-130 and will help speed up the process of getting your relative a green card.

Those sponsoring a relative should keep in mind that there is a $420 filing fee for submitting an I-130.

Immigration Direct can provide you with the assistance you need to file an I-130 to sponsor your relative for a green card. We offer step-by-step guidance for each question, an application online and in plain English, detailed filing instructions and a free quiz to determine your eligibility to sponsor a relative.