Refugee Status: Family Members and Employment

Ann Massey Badmus

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Immigration Attorney - Dallas, TX

Contributor Level 8

Posted about 2 years ago. 1 helpful vote

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If you are a refugee in the United States and want your family members who are abroad to join you, you may file Form I-730, Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition, for your spouse and unmarried children under 21. You must file within two years of your arrival to the United States unless there are humanitarian reasons to excuse this deadline.

You may also be eligible to file an Affidavit of Relationship for your spouse, child (unmarried, under 21), or parents. The Affidavit of Relationship is the form used to reunite refugees and asylees with close relatives who are determined to be refugees but are outside the United States. The Affidavit of Relationship records information about family relationships and must be completed in order to begin the application process for relatives who may be eligible to enter the United States as refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program. For information on the current nationalities eligible to file, see the “ U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Population, Refugees & Migration".

As a refugee, you may work immediately upon arrival to the United States. When you are admitted to the United States you will receive a Form I-94 containing a refugee admission stamp. Additionally, a Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, will be filed for you in order for you to receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). While you are waiting for your EAD, you can present your Form I-94, Arrival-Departure Record, to your employer as proof of your permission to work in the United States.

Additional Resources

If you're a foreign medical graduate who wishes to practice medicine anywhere in the United States, the Badmus Law Firm can help you navigate the often complicated immigration process. You are invited to contact us at (469) 916-7900 or at immigration@badmuslaw.com.

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