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What Does a Sponsor Need to Do to Start an Immigration Process?


For a family-based immigration, what does a sponsor need to do to start the immigration process for a U.S. Citizen's relative?


To start the immigration process for a U.S. Citizen's relative, there are two scenarios:

1). The Beneficiary is already in the United States in a nonimmigrant status: If the alien is an immediate relative of a U.S. Citizen then he/she does not need to be in nonimmigrant status, but does need to have been admitted into the U.S. with a valid visa. In this case, if the Beneficiary is an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen, the U.S. Citizen sponsor can file an immigration petition, and the Beneficiary can file an application for adjustment of status at the same time.

If the Beneficiary belongs to one of the four Preferences, then only the immigration petition can be filed, and the Beneficiary has to wait for the immigrant visa number to become current before he or she may apply to adjust to permanent resident. During this waiting period, the Beneficiary needs to independently maintain a valid nonimmigrant status.

2). The Beneficiary is outside the United States: In this case, the Sponsor needs to file an immigration petition and request that the USCIS notify a U.S. Consulate in the country where the Beneficiary lives. Once the immigration petition is approved, the National Visa Center of the U.S. State Department sends a forms and information package, "Packet 3", to the Sponsor.

After the necessary forms are completed, the Beneficiary goes to the U.S. Consulate overseas to apply for an immigrant visa. On the day that the Beneficiary enters the United States on an immigrant visa, he or she becomes a U.S. permanent resident.




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