Immigration Services


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Family-based Immigrant Visa

The INA allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on relationship to a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident under two basic categories: unlimited and limited.

Unlimited Family-based:
This categoy includes

  1. Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens (IR):
    • Spouse
    • Widow(er)
    • Unmarried children under 21
    • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is 21 or older
  2. Returning Residents (SB):
    • Immigrants who lived in the United States previously as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the U.S. after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad.

Limited Family-based:

  1. Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children, if any. (23,400)
  2. Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (114,200) At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
  3. Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (23,400)
  4. Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)

Immigration Links


Dept. of Labor
Dept. of State

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