Becoming a citizen is a very complex process that takes a lot of time. Securing permanent resident status or a Green Card is also difficult. However, it may be a better option for some people who would like to stay in the United States indefinitely.

If you have already received your Green Card or Permanent Resident Card, you may want to share your good fortune with your loved ones by helping them enter the U.S. Is family-based immigration an option for those living in the country as a permanent resident?

Only the closest family relationships qualify for family-based immigration

The ability to sponsor family members and loved ones who wish to enter the United States is one of the major differences between citizens and permanent residents. Those who secure full citizenship will have more opportunities and fewer restrictions placed on their ability to seek family-based immigration for their loved ones.

Generally speaking, permanent residents can only seek the family-based immigration of their spouse and of unmarried children who are also under the age of 21. Parents, siblings and more distant family members typically will not qualify for family-based immigration due to someone’s permanent resident status.

Family-based immigration requires background checks and more

Your family can’t just enter the U.S. because you have already done so. They will be subject to the same degree of scrutiny that you experienced before you immigrated. Background checks, medical exams and more are often part of the family-based immigration process.

Getting the right legal help with this complex process can both increase the speed with which you complete your paperwork and the likelihood of success. Advice and support during family immigration can make the entire process simpler.