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.

 

Family Based

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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