Can Refugees Bring Family Members to the U.S.?

Can Refugees Bring Family Members to the U.S.?

There are specific conditions under which you can bring certain family members to the U.S. as a refugee. First, you may qualify to bring some family members to the U.S. through the Family Reunification program. You may be eligible for this program if you entered the U.S. as a refugee within the last two years, or you received asylum within the past two years. You must be a principal refugee or asylee, in that you entered the U.S. through the U.S. Office of Resettlement, and you must have either retained your asylee or refugee status, or become a lawful permanent resident by getting your green card. Even if you meet all of these eligibility requirements, you can only bring certain relatives to the U.S. as derivative refugees. These relatives include your spouse and your children who were 21 and unmarried when you first applied for refugee status. Another option for a refugee to bring relatives to the U.S. is the Affidavit of Relationship program. If you have a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, and/or parents who already have been determined to be refugees and are currently outside of the U.S., you may qualify to file an Affidavit of Relationship for them. This Affidavit enables your relatives to begin the application process to come to the U.S. through the Office of Resettlement. You must complete this Affidavit within five years of coming to the U.S. Additionally, if you have received permanent resident status or been in the U.S. for more than five years, you may be eligible to file a petition for your spouse, children, parents, and siblings. This can be a far lengthier and more difficult process than the two programs described above. However, it may be an option if you do not qualify for either the Family Reunification or Affidavit of Relationship programs. Whether you are a refugee or not, America’s current political climate can make knowing your rights under federal immigration law difficult, both with respect to family immigration and a lack of a valid immigration status. At Landerholm Immigration, A.P.C., we are dedicated to protecting your rights, for both detained noncitizens and refugees. We know how to evaluate your case, explore your options, and provide you with the strongest defense against removal possible. Contact your California deportation defense attorneys today and set up an appointment to speak with our legal team.
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