A United States citizen, including naturalized citizens, can sponsor a family member for an immigrant visa to permanently enter the U.S. and receive Lawful Permanent Resident status, a green card.
Foreign nationals in the U.S. who are green card holders can sponsor a spouse, a minor child or an unmarried adult child. Citizens and permanent residents who want to sponsor relatives to move to the United States to become a resident must have a certain level of earnings and agree to legally support their incoming family member(s).
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) conducts background and security checks on both the U.S. citizen or LPR sponsor and the family member they are sponsoring for a green card. The green card sponsor can be disqualified from sponsoring a family member to permanently enter the United States if:
U.S. immigration law says that convictions for certain “offenses against a minor” under the Adam Walsh Child Protection and Safety Act, part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, Section 204(a)(l)(A)(viii), automatically disqualify a U.S. citizen from sponsoring a family member for a green card: