Immigrant Categories (Family-based):
Family-based Immigration refers to long-term or permanent immigration to the United States via a family member, for the purpose of reunification. To sponsor a relative to immigration to the United States, you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a U.S. Citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), and be able to provide documentation to prove your status.
- Your (sponsor) must have a qualifying family relationship (see the below two categories) with the beneficiary.
- You must be willing to sponsor your relative for LPR buy filing I-130 Petition.
- You must prove that you can support your family, your relative and all other sponsored family members at least at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides two groups of family based immigration visa categories. To begin with the family based immigration process, the sponsor must file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS.
- Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (IR Visas):
- These visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen. The number of visas in this category is not limited each fiscal year.
- Types of IRs are:
- Spouse of U.S. Citizen (K Visa)
- Unmarried Child under 21 years of a U.S. Citizen
- Orphan adopted by a U.S. Citizen
- Parents of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
- Family Preference Immigration Visas:
- These visas are based on a more distant relationship with the U.S. citizen. The number of visas in this category is numerically limited for each preference category.
- Types of Family Preference visas are:
- Family First Preference: unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children.
- Family Second Preference: spouses, minor children and unmarried sons and daughters of LPRs.
- Family Third Preference: married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
- Family Fourth Preference: brother and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided that the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.
Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Below is some additional information on priority-categories that accompany family-based immigration.
- K-Visa: Spouse of U.S. Citizen or Fiancé
- Marriage to a U.S. citizen or Green Card holder
- Travel documents
- Work permit
- Reentry permit
- Adjustment of status
- Consular processing
- Advance parole
- I-130 Petition
The process can be long and complicated. We understand the system and can help you navigate its complexities. Let us put our experience to work for you. Give us a call today!