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Proving “Immediate Relative” Relationships for Immigration

Posted on in Visas

Darien immigration attorney immediate relative visaThere are many paths by which a foreign national may immigrate and become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The Immediate Relative (IR) visa is one of the easier paths, because there is no limit to the number of IR visas that may be issued by the U.S. government each year.

A U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR) may sponsor the following Immediate Relatives for immigration:

  • Your legally-wedded spouse (visa type IR-1). The definition of a “spouse” includes a same-sex spouse, and it may include a common-law spouse, depending on the laws of the country where the common-law marriage occurred. It excludes people who were merely living together and polygamous spouses other than the first legally-wedded spouse. 
  • Your unmarried children under age 21 (IR-2).
  • A child you are adopting from another country (IR-3 or IR-4).
  • Your parent(s), as long as you (the U.S. citizen sponsor) are at least 21 years old (IR-5).

Requirements to Sponsor Immediate Family Members as Immigrants

If you want to sponsor the immigration of immediate relatives, you must fulfill three critical requirements:

First, you must prove that you have adequate income to support your family. Specifically, your household income must be at least 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size, counting yourself (the sponsor), all of your dependents, any other relatives living with you, and the sponsored immigrants.

Second, you must maintain a residence in the U.S. where you intend to live for the foreseeable future. 

Third, and most important, you must be able to prove the immediate family relationship. 

How to Prove Immediate Family Relationships

The typical way to prove spousal, child, and parent relationships is through civil (government-issued) documents. You will need original documents or certified copies of marriage or birth certificates, along with legible photocopies of those documents. If these certificates are not written in either English or the official language of the country in which you are making your visa application, you must also provide certified translations. 

If credible documentation of a child-parent relationship cannot be obtained, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) cannot require, but may recommend, DNA testing. If the sponsor and applicant wish to use DNA testing to prove their relationship, they must pay for the testing themselves at an accredited lab, and the results must specifically state the child-parent relationship.

Trust a Seasoned Stamford, CT Immigration Attorney 

If you want to sponsor an immediate relative for immigration to the United States, working with a knowledgeable Fairfield County immigration lawyer can smoothe the process for you. At Gonzalez Law Office, LLC, we understand how long and frustrating the process can seem. We will work closely with you to help you unify your family in the U.S. as quickly as possible. Contact us at 203-323-1440 to arrange a consultation. 





Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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