Many people come to California from other countries for a new start in life. Various aspects of the United States may attract them, and in the end, they found themselves making this country their permanent home. After becoming legal permanent residents or citizens, many individuals may want their family members to join them. If so, family immigration may help.

When it comes to sponsoring family members in another country to come to the United States, the sponsor’s residency status can play a role in who the sponsor can help. For example, a lawful permanent resident can file a visa petition for his or her spouse or unmarried son or daughter but cannot file on behalf of any other family members. However, a U.S. citizen can file a visa petition for a spouse, son or daughter, sibling or parent.

It is also important that legal residents or citizens understand the type of visa they need to utilize. The immediate relative visas are not limited each fiscal year, but they are only for immediate family members, like children, parents or spouses. The family preference visas are limited to a certain number each fiscal year, but they can apply to more distant family members.

It can be immensely difficult to start a new life in a new country without close family. It can sometimes take years before lawful permanent residents or citizens can petition for loved ones to come to California or other parts of the United States. Still, family immigration can help interested and qualifying individuals work to bring their loved ones closer.