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The sponsoring relative must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with the USCIS, supported by documentation evidencing the claimed relationship. Except for U.S. citizens sponsoring their parents or siblings, there is no minimum age to be eligible to petition a relative. However, a sponsor is required to execute an Affidavit of Support on behalf of the sponsored relative(s), which requires that the sponsor is at least 18 years old and living in the U.S.

To apply for an immigrant visa when the priority date of the petition is already current, the applicant may either apply for adjustment of status in the United States if he or she is physically present in the United States, or apply through consular processing at a U.S. consulate office in his or her home country.