Who Can Sponsor A Family Member for a Green Card?
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.
- A spouse or fiancé(e)
- A parent
- A sibling
- A minor child
- An adult child (regardless of marital status).
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).
Exceptions and Restrictions to Sponsoring a Family Member for a Green Card
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:
- they have certain criminal convictions
- they do not have sufficient income to support their incoming family members
- they do not legally agree to support their incoming family members while they are in the United States
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: