Family-based immigration Visas can allow relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful residents to immigrate to and take up residency in the United States. There are two main types of these Visas: those for Immediate Relative Immigrants and those for Family Preference Immigrants. Within each of these family-based immigration Visa categories are several different types of Visas; the type of Visa a person is eligible for depends on their relationship to the U.S. citizen or resident, their marital status, and their age.
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas
The first of the family-based immigration Visa categories is the IR, or Immediate Relative immigrant. These Visas are based on immediate family relationships with a United States citizen.
The individual types of Immediate Relative Visas include:
· IR-1 – This Visa is designed for spouses of U.S. citizens.
· IR-2 – Unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21 are eligible for this Visa.
· IR-3 – If a U.S. citizen adopts an orphan abroad, they may qualify for this type of Visa.
· IR-4 – This Visa is for orphans being adopted in the United States by a U.S. citizen.
· IR-5 – Parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old are eligible for this Visa.
Unlike the Family Preference Immigrant Visas, there is no limit to the number of Immediate Relative Visas that can be issued each year.
Family Preference Immigrant Visas
The second of the family-based immigration Visa categories is the F, or Family Preference Immigrant Visa. The Family Preference category provides Visa options for individuals who have a distant, familial relationship with a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. There are four types of Family Preference Visas, and only a limited amount of each type may be issued annually.
The types of Family Preference Immigrant Visas include:
· Family First Preference, or F1 – This Visa is available to unmarried children of U.S. citizens, as well as their own minor children, if they have any. Only 23,400 of these Visas may be issued each year.
· Family Second Preference, or F2 – The spouses, minor children, and unmarried children 21 or older of lawful permanent U.S. residents are eligible for this type of Visa. Only 114,200 of these Visas may be issued annually and, at minimum, 77 percent of them will go to the spouses and minor children.
· Family Third Preference, or F3 – This Visa is available to married children of U.S. citizens, as well as their spouses and any minor children they may have. Only 23,400 of these are issued each year.
· Family Fourth Preference, or F4 – Siblings of U.S. citizens 21 and older, as well as their spouses and minor children, may apply for these Visas. Only 65,000 are issued annually.
It’s important to note that there are no family-based immigration Visa categories that pertain to grandparents, aunts, uncles, nieces, nephews, or in-laws of U.S. residents.
Getting Started on Family-Based Immigration Visas
Regardless of which family-based immigration Visa categories you’re applying for, you’ll first need to reach out to your family member and ask them to file a petition on your behalf. Officially called the Petition for Alien Relative, or Form I-130, this establishes the relative as your sponsor in the United States. Once the petition has been approved, you can begin your portion of the Visa application process, which includes remitting various fees, submitting supporting documents, and more.
If you’re considering getting a Visa in any of the family-based immigration Visa categories, enlist the help of an immigration attorney to ensure you have the best possible chance at success. Call 800-770-0127 to speak to an attorney at the Davis Law Firm and get started with your application process today.