When your tourism business in Nicaragua had to shut down, you were left without an income. So, after 20 years, you returned to the U.S. to find work. Your experience allowed you to secure a job quickly, but there is one problem. You could not bring your Nicaraguan wife and kids with you. You told them you would sort that out once you had settled.

If you are a U.S. citizen or a green card holder, you can apply to have your family join you:

  • If you hold U.S. citizenship: You have more options. You can apply to bring your immediate relatives: a spouse, children, parents or siblings. You can try to get a visa for all of them if you like. Nothing limits how many visas you can apply for, and there is no limit to the number of these visas that the government can issue in a year.
  • If you have a green card: Your choices are more restricted. You are only allowed to apply for a visa for your spouse or your child. However, the child must be under 18 and unmarried. There are a certain number of visas available each year to be allocated between everyone that applies throughout the country.

Applying for a U.S. visa for your family is never straightforward. The forms are complex, and a mistake can be costly. Immigration authorities also carry out in-depth background checks. Many a family member has been left unable to enter the U.S. due to a criminal record for something long ago. Hiring an immigration attorney is essential to increase your chance of successfully navigating the visa application process.