Immigration Options for Immediate Family
Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), visas for family members are divided into two categories: “immediate relative” and “family preference.”
Immediate relative visas apply to the following:
- Unmarried children under 21
- Minor children who have been adopted
- Parents of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old
There is no limit to the amount of immediate relative visas the U.S. government grants annually, meaning the only wait time is the normal government processing time.
Family preference visas are available to the following:
- The unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are over 21 years old and their minor children
- The minor children, spouses, and unmarried adult children of lawful permanent residents
- Married daughters and sons of U.S. citizens and their children and spouses
- The siblings of U.S. citizens and their minor children, when the citizen is over 21 years of age
The U.S. sets a limit on how many family preference visas are allocated per year and most of them go to the minor children and spouses of legal permanent residents. Those eligible exceed the number of visas available, so there is a waiting period for those who’ve applied. Visas are then granted in chronological order, so the process could take several years.
Contact Nathan Christensen P.C. to Discuss Your Situation
Every case is different and USCIS will not move fast. It is best to speak with one of our Carrollton immigration attorneys as soon as possible to get the process started. We have helped many families and couples obtain visas and permanent residency and we are passionate about the work we do to help keep families together. We’ll stand by you throughout the entire process.
Call (972) 497-1017 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.