The most important aspect of anyone seeking U.S. citizenship is that they do it legally. Doing any part of this process illegally can lead to deportation or revocation of one's citizenship application. Ergo, when you want to help family members come to the United States and settle here, you have to know how to do it all legally. Here are some helpful tips.
Make Sure Your Relatives Are Coming with Passports and/or Visas
Most often, people arrive in the U.S. legally carrying passports from their native countries. They may also have work or student visas, which are also acceptable when coming through customs gates. Make sure that every relative that enters the country has at least a legitimate passport.
Apply for Visas or Green Cards/Residency Once in the U.S.
If your relatives want to stay here and start the citizenship process, visit an immigration citizenship attorney. They can help your relatives apply for work or student visas and then apply for green cards and residency status. Once approved by the federal government, your relatives can stay here for the length of time stated on their visas or residency papers.
Apply for Naturalization
Naturalization is the application and process of becoming a permanent citizen of the United States. All of your relatives (except those born here, i.e., infants born after entering the country) have to stay here at least five years and live and work as residents. There are tests to take to become a citizen, and lots of studying to do and rules to adhere to. If your relatives make it through all of these steps, they can take the oath to become citizens. The immigration attorney hired to help your relatives will provide guidance and advice every step of the way.
Lots of Fees
All of the steps in the process to become a permanent U.S. citizen require fees. These fees are for application processing costs, and to get additional help in the event that one or more of your relatives receive a denied application for citizenship. It is more common than you think. The retainer paid to the lawyer is above and beyond the fees for applications, so be aware of that too. However, if you have several family members that you are trying to bring into the country, it helps to have a lawyer working for you who knows exactly what to do.
To learn more, contact an immigration attorney today.
If you've decided that you want to adopt a child, the first thing you should do is reach out to a family law attorney. While it may not seem logical to get an attorney involved from the start, it's important that you protect yourself legally from the beginning. After making the decision to adopt, I have been through the process several times. I created this site to help other adoptive parents understand what they can expect from the entire process, including the legal support you're likely to need. I hope this information helps you feel more confident in this major life decision.