Sponsoring an Immigrant in Tuscaloosa
Immigrants to the United States must have a sponsor to guarantee they will have financial support until they can establish an independent household. People with either employer or family sponsors could receive an immigrant visa.
Applying to sponsor an immigrant is complicated and time-consuming. One mistake and the government might reject the application, and you will have to start over. Working with an experienced local immigration attorney could help the process go more smoothly. If you are considering sponsoring an immigrant in Tuscaloosa, speak with a legal representative. It is important to know the obligations and responsibilities you will be taking on.
Sponsoring an Employee for a Green Card
Employers in the Tuscaloosa area might want to sponsor an employee in the country on an F-1 or M-1 visa. These visa holders must return to their country of origin when their permit expires. However, in some cases, they could seek an adjustment to permanent resident status if they have employer sponsorship.
In most cases, an employer must first file an Application for Permanent Labor Certification from the Department of Labor. The employer must prove they cannot fill a specific job from the available pool of willing U.S. citizens. Not all jobs require certification. A legal professional could explain whether certification would be necessary in a specific case.
After an employer secures the certification, they must file an Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, Form I-140. The U.S. issues a specific number of visas in each of several visa categories, such as EB-1 for priority workers, EB-2 for persons with advanced degrees or exceptional abilities, EB-3 for professional or skilled workers, and EB-4 for other categories of workers. Processing times vary depending on which type applies to the sponsored worker.
Family Reunification Sponsorship
The U.S. favors family reunification and allows citizens and Green Card holders to sponsor their family members for immigration. Eligibility for sponsorship depends on the status of the sponsor and the sponsor’s relationship to the visa applicant. A Tuscaloosa attorney could explain the relevant visa category and its requirements and help a sponsor complete the necessary immigration paperwork.
Immediate Family Visas
Citizens can sponsor their parents, spouse, and unmarried children under 21 for an Immediate Family immigration visa. The U.S. does not limit the number of these visas it issues every year.
If a citizen sponsors a spouse and has been married less than two years, their immigration status is conditional. The couple must apply to have the condition removed from the spouse’s 90 days before the second anniversary of their entry into the country by submitting Form I-751.
Family Preference Visas
U.S. citizens can apply to have their siblings, adult children, and married children immigrate. These relatives fall into the Family Preference visa category, and the U.S. issues a limited number of these visas annually.
Green Card holders also can sponsor family members for a Family Preference visa. The Green Card holder’s parents, spouse, and unmarried children under 21 are the only relatives they may support.
A citizen can sponsor a foreign fiancé to enter the U.S. on a K-1 visa. The sponsor and fiancé must both be free to marry and must get married within 90 days of the fiancé’s entry into the country. In most cases, the couple must prove they met in person at least once in the two years preceding the visa application.
Reasons for a Denied Immigrant Visa
Just because a prospective immigrant has a sponsor does not mean they will receive a visa. The U.S. denies many immigrant permits every year. Denial often results from an incomplete application or an inability to prove a statement on the application. Sometimes, a family sponsor’s affidavit of support is inadequate. Working with a legal representative on the required paperwork could avoid these denials.
The Immigration and Nationality Act §212(a)(9)(B) indicates the government could deny the visa of anyone who overstayed a permit or entered the country illegally. If they were in the U.S. without authorization for more than six months but less than one year, they are ineligible for a visa for three years. If they were in the country illegally for more than one year, they are ineligible for ten years.
People convicted of certain crimes do not qualify for a permit. Anyone untruthful on their visa application is permanently barred from a visa.
Get Help from an Attorney if You Are Considering Sponsoring an Immigrant in Tuscaloosa
Whatever your reasons for sponsoring an immigrant in Tuscaloosa, the process is complex and time-consuming. It could help to have an experienced professional guiding you. A seasoned legal representative could explain your responsibilities as an immigrant sponsor and confirm the person you wish to sponsor is eligible. Call today to speak to a knowledgeable advocate.