The Family-Sponsored Immigration
Family-sponsored immigration is to become a U.S. permanent resident through certain family relations. Normally, a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident would file an immigration petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS). The U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident is called the sponsor. The alien relative for whom the immigration petition is filed is called the beneficiary.
A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident can be the sponsor of a family-sponsored immigration petition. However, the sponsor has to meet certain requirements and legal obligations.
The sponsor has to submit a legally binding affidavit of support for the beneficiary to USCIS, in which the sponsor guarantees to maintain the standard of living of the intending immigrant at a level not lower than 125% of the national poverty level. This obligation continues until the beneficiary has become a U.S. citizen, or has worked in the United States for 40 qualifying quarters. http://www.greencardfamily.com/citizenspouse/ctspouse_whatis.htm
Spouses of U.S. citizens are eligible for permanent resident status as "immediate relatives". The process of completing and submitting an immigrant visa application for relatives can be confusing. As a U.S. citizen, you can submit an immigrant application if you have a close family relation, and you can sponsor the following family members:
- Husband or wife;
- Widow or widower of a U.S. citizen;
- Brother or sister (including half-brothers and half-sisters);
- Son or daughter (including illegitimate children);
- Stepson or stepdaughter;
- Stepparent of a U.S. citizen child;
- Adopted son or daughter;
- Adopted parent;
- Father or mother;
- Battered or abused spouse or child.