One of the most common means of receiving a visa and, ultimately, permanent residency or citizenship in the United States is through a family relationship — through either a blood relationship or marriage. A U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) sponsors the relative who is seeking to immigrate to the U.S. Family-based immigrant visas fall into two groups:
Immediate relative immigrant visas are available to spouses, parents and children of U.S. citizens. Children must be unmarried and under age 21. There is no limit to the number of immediate relative (IR) visas that are issued each year. A lawful permanent resident is not eligible to petition to bring parents to live and work permanently in the U.S.
Family preference immigrant visas are for more distant relatives of a U.S. citizen. The higher ranking a preference has, the quicker a family member will be eligible to receive a green card. As a general rule, the number of applications for family preference visas exceeds the limit allowed. Obtaining a family preference green card — and eventually U.S. citizenship — usually takes several years. The family preference immigrant categories are:
- Unmarried sons and daughters age 21 and over and any minor children (family first preference or F1)
- Spouses, minor children and unmarried sons and daughters age 21 and over of lawful permanent residents (family second preference or F2)
- Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children (family third preference or F3)
- Siblings and their spouses and minor children, as long as the U.S. citizen is 21 or older (family preference 4 or F4)
There is a limited number of family preference immigrant visas issued each year. Note that grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Experienced Immigration Attorneys Who Work Directly With You To Expedite The Process
Family-based immigration petitions are paperwork-intensive, and mistakes may prolong an already lengthy process. The attorneys at Rodriguez Bell & DiFranco Law Office, LLC, will help remove the confusion from the process and ensure that your petition is on track.
If your situation does not qualify for an immediate relative or a family preference visa, we will explore other avenues for bringing family members to the United States. We pride ourselves on providing personalized legal counsel that is tailored to each client's individual needs. We focus entirely on immigration issues, and each of our attorneys has more than 10 years of experience.
For your convenience, we have offices in Cleveland and Columbus, Ohio. We invite you to call or email us to schedule a free consultation. You will meet with the lawyer who will handle your case.