Family immigration law can be both emotional and important to families and others. That is why it is important for families in Georgia and across the nation that are interested in family immigration to understand the process, laws and resources available to them to help them with their immigration concerns.

Under United States federal law, citizens and legal permanent residents can sponsor family members for family-based immigration visas. However, there are limitations on family-based immigration visas based on the type of familial relationship. Fewer visas are available for more remote family links. The priority for family visa applications is lower the further down the list a family member appears, and visa petitions made by U.S. citizens are given higher priority than petitions made by permanent residents.

Citizens can petition for a visa for their spouse; their child if the child is under the age of 21; their parent if the citizen is over the age of 21; unmarried children over the age of 21 and their children; married children of any age and their children; and a sibling and the sibling’s spouse and children if the citizen is age 21 or older. A permanent resident can petition for a visa for their spouse, for a child under the age of 21 and for unmarried children over the age of 21. There are different waiting periods associated with different applications it is useful for petitioners to be familiar with these timeframes.

When seeking a family-based immigration visa, it is important to understand the order of priority and the rules for making a petition. Knowing how the process works can help petitioners position themselves as best as possible to obtain a visa for their loved one when needed.