Family Visas

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Family Visas

Family-Based Immigrant Visas

The United States has a long tradition of giving family based immigration visas to individuals with relatives that are citizens or permanent residents. Individuals with immediate relatives are not subject to quotas, but there are limited numbers of visas based on other types of family members. There are many requirements and procedures that must be properly fulfilled in order to obtain a visa, so it’s helpful to work with an experienced San Diego immigration attorney who can ensure that your application is properly filed with all the necessary supporting documents. 

Call Rick Sterger, The Immigration Guy, at (760) 280-7900 for a free confidential consultation.

Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) Family Based Visas

There are two basic types of family immigrant visas:

Immediate Relative Immigrant IR Visas require the applicant to have an immediate relative (IR) that’s a United States citizen. There are no quotas for this type of visa, so an unlimited number of people may enter the country if they meet the requirements. These are the categories of immediate family members with standing to apply:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen 
  • IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen 
  • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are available in limited numbers for applicants that have specified familial relationships with a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident (LPR.) The family preference categories and their yearly limits are listed below, and are the only family relationships that can sponsor relatives for immigration. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins and in-laws cannot be sponsors.

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

San Diego Immigration Attorney

The laws and regulations for family based immigration can change quickly, applications must meet exacting standards and include the proper supporting documents. That’s why it’s important to work with an experienced San Diego immigration attorney that knows how to help you choose the right type of visa and help you prepare your application.

Call Rick Sterger, The Immigration Guy, at (760) 280-7900 for a free confidential consultation.