Family wrapped in American flag looking at bridge, immigration for better life

Family Based Immigration

Family based immigration may be used by family members of United States Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents. The family member seeking entry to the U.S. must be a spouse, child, brother or sister of the U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. U.S. Citizens may also petition their parents. How quickly your family member may enter the United States depends on which type of visa the relative qualifies for. Family members of U.S. Citizens qualifying as an immediate relative do not have to wait for visas to become available. However, there are a limited amount of visas for family members of Lawful Permanent residents. This means must wait for a visa number to become available for the family preference immigrant visa.

Immediate Relatives

  • Spouses
  • Children (under 21 years of age)
  • Parents of U.S. Citizens (21 years old or older)
  • Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
  • Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. Citizen

Family Preference Immigrant Visas

  • First Preference: Unmarried Children (21 years old or older) of U.S. Citizens
  • Second Preference: Spouses and Unmarried Children of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Third Preference: Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens (21 years old or older)
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