All U.S. Citizens are allowed to sponsor certain relatives abroad to become Green Card holders (or permanent residents of the U.S.) and lead a path to U.S. citizenship.

In order to sponsor your relative, you need to show that you have enough assets or income to support your relative once they arrive in the United States. The process of sponsoring a relative for a green card starts when you file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The application form details the family relationship that exists between you and the relative you sponsor.

Relatives who can be Sponsored by U.S. Citizens

U.S. citizens can sponsor the following relatives:

  • Husband or wife
  • Married or unmarried children
  • Parents (the citizen must be 21 years or older)
  • Brothers or sisters (the citizen must be 21 years or older)

After you submit your case, you are required to provide evidence about your relationship to the relative you sponsor. Normally you need to file a copy of birth certificate along with the application Form I-130. But you may also need to submit other documents to provide evidence of your kinship.

Supporting Documents and Fees

Supporting documents vary based on the relationship and whether the beneficiary or petitioner has to submit evidence. Our system is designed to personalize the list of supporting documents based on the means of application.

The filing fee is $420.00 and must be paid in the form of check or money order made payable to U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

How is Form I-130 processed?

After filing Form I-130, your relative will be placed in line with others to process his or her case with the USCIS. Applications are categorized by family relationship.

The length of time varies from country to country. It also depends on how many people have filed for immigration. Note that there are no waiting period for sponsoring parents, spouses, and children under the age of 21.

If you are a sponsor for your brother, sister, or married child over the age of 21, your relatives’ family may also join the sponsored person by applying for an immigrant visa.