The United States, often called the “Land of Opportunity,” attracts individuals from all over the world seeking a better life for themselves and their families. In fact, the American Immigration Council estimates that over 1 million people immigrate to the United States each year.
As many people consider the possibility of bringing their families to the U.S., various myths and misconceptions about the immigration process emerge. These myths can create confusion and unnecessary stress for potential immigrants, so it is important to unravel the truth.
Myth #1: It is easy for anyone to bring their entire family to the U.S
The process of bringing family members to the U.S. is not simple. While U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents can petition for certain family members to join them, there are specific categories and criteria they must meet. Additionally, there are annual limits on the number of visas available for certain family categories.
Myth #2: Marrying a U.S. citizen guarantees immediate citizenship
While marriage to a U.S. citizen can provide a pathway to residency and eventually citizenship, it does not grant automatic citizenship. The U.S. citizen spouse can petition for a visa for the foreign spouse, but the process involves several steps, including interviews and waiting periods.
Myth #3: Children born in the U.S. can immediately sponsor their parents for a green card
Although children born in the U.S. are U.S. citizens, they cannot sponsor their parents for a green card until they turn 21. Even then, the process can take time, and there are various requirements the parents must meet.
Myth #4: Adopting a child from another country grants them U.S. citizenship immediately
International adoption does not result in instant U.S. citizenship for the child. While the child may become a legal permanent resident after the adoption process concludes, the path to citizenship requires additional steps.
Myth #5: The U.S. government will separate families during the immigration process
While there have been instances of family separations at the border, the typical family immigration process does not involve separation. Families often undergo the immigration process together, especially when applying from their home countries.
Navigating the complexities of family immigration to the United States can be challenging. Myths and misconceptions only add to the confusion. By staying informed and seeking accurate information, you can make the best decisions for your family’s future in the U.S.