Gaining entry into the United States as a refugee isn’t easy. Once you’re in, however, you may feel isolated and separated from your family and want to bring them to the United States, too. These family members could also be facing the same dangers that you faced in your home country, so the need to bring them here could be more pressing than just your emotional and familial ties.

Fortunately, you may be able to file a Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, for certain relatives if you gained entry as a refugee, or if you received asylum less than two years ago. If more than two years have passed since you gained asylum or refugee status, you may need to turn to other options to get your family into the United States.

The following relatives might be able to follow you into the United States via the Form I-730:

  • Your wife or husband
  • Your unmarried children who were under the age of 21 when you gained asylum or refugee status

Once your Form I-730 has been processed and decided in your relative’s favor, the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services will notify you of their decision. If your relative is located in the United States, you’ll receive an approval notice and instructions about your next steps to receive asylum or refugee status. If your relative is not in the United States, he or she will get an approval notice sent to the nearest U.S. consulate or embassy with appropriate instructions.

Gaining asylum or refugee status is not the only way for your relatives to get into the United States. If you’re unable to gain entry through an I-730, you may want review your other U.S. visa options.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, “I am a refugee or asylee: How do I help my relative get refugee or asylee status in the United States?,” accessed Dec. 15, 2017