A US citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident is eligible to sponsor/petition for certain family members to join them in the United States. Upon approval of the petition, your family member will receive either a green card or a fiancée visa which allows them to travel t the United States.
Relatives for Whom You (U.S. Citizen) May Petition
A US Citizen may petition for the following relatives:
- Children (unmarried and under 21)
- Sons and daughters (married and/or 21 or over)
- Parents, if you are 21 or over
- Siblings, if you are 21 or over
- A fiancé(e) residing outside the United States and children of fiancé(e) under 21
Spouses of deceased U.S. permanent residents (widows and widowers) may also be eligible to become permanent residents.
Family Immigration Visa Preference Categories
Immediate Relatives – defines certain immigrant relatives of US Citizens and includes spouses of US Citizens, Unmarried children under 21 of US citizens and parents of US citizens.
For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, visas are always available, which means that your family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. Immediate relatives who are in the United States can file Form I-485 Application to Adjust Status to Lawful Permanent Resident at the same time as Form I-130 Petition for Relative.
Preference categories include family relationships that are not immediate relatives and have annual numerical limits. A visa becomes available to a preference category based on the priority date (the date the Form I-130 was filed). The following are preference categories:
- First preference: Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (adult means 21 or older.)
- Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
- Second Preference (2B): Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
- Third Preference: Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens