What are the Types of Family Based Immigration Visas?
Under current immigration law, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) have the right to sponsor certain family members for a visa. This visa gives them permanent residence in the U.S. Family immigration is the primary way people legally immigrate to the U.S.
Family-based immigration visas fall into two categories: immediate relatives and family preference.
Immediate Relatives: This visa category, which has no cap on the number of visas issued, is designed for immediate family members of U.S. citizens. This includes:
Family Preference: Each year, a specific quota of visas is allocated for family members, including:
Additional family members of a U.S. citizen, including married offspring or siblings
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years old of lawful permanent residents (those holding Green Cards)
Ineligible to Petition: Neither citizens nor legal residents are permitted to petition for U.S. entry for “distant” relatives, including:
What are the Steps to File for a Family-Based Immigration Petition?
Step 1: The process of family-based immigration usually begins with the petitioner, who is a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident. They will submit a request to the U.S. government for their foreign relatives to immigrate to the U.S.
Step 2: The petitioner will fill out and submit Form I-130, called the Petition for Alien Relative. This is done through the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form is used to prove that a qualifying family relationship fits into either the immediate relative category or the family preference category.
Step 3: Once the USCIS approves the I-130 petition and a visa number becomes available, the foreign family member can apply for a green card.
Contact Malone Immigration Law Led By Brian C. Malone.
Dealing with immigration can be challenging if you do it alone. That’s why we want to ensure you understand the process and your choices. We believe everyone should have the chance to get legal help.
We’re proud to help our clients and excited to help you make the United States your home, just like we’ve done for many others. Contact us today to set up a free consultation so we can learn more about you and your needs.