Family Based Green Card - Los Angeles Immigration Attorneys
Eligibility for an Immigrant Category
Individuals who want to become immigrants (permanent residents) through their qualified family member, a job offer or employment, or a special category will generally be classified in categories based on a preference system. Except for immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen who are given the highest immigration priority and a few other exceptions, Congress has set a finite number of visas that can be used each year for each category of immigrants.
Some relatives of U.S. citizens, known as immediate relatives, do not have to wait for a visa to become available. There is no limit to the number of visas that can be utilized in this category in a particular year. Immediate relatives include:
Parents of a U.S. citizen
Spouses of a U.S. citizen
Unmarried children under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen
Note: U.S. citizens must be at least 21 years old to apply for their parents.
The qualified relatives of a U.S. citizen or permanent resident in the remaining family-based categories may have to wait for a visa to become available before they can apply for permanent residency. These categories include:
First Preference: Unmarried, adult (21 years of age or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
Second Preference A: Spouses of permanent residents and the unmarried children (under the age of 21) of permanent residents
Second Preference B: Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or age or older) of permanent residents
Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens, their spouses and their minor children
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