Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).
A US citizen may file an I-130 petition for the following relatives for immigration in the immediate relative category. There are no numerical limitations on Immediate Relatives immigrants.
- IR1/CR1– Spouses of U.S. citizens
- IR2– Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
- IR3– Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
- IR4– Orphan to be adopted in the United States by a U.S. citizen
- IR5– Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
- IW– Spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen
Family Preference (certain relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents)
Persons seeking to immigrate in one of the family based preference categories will qualify for immigrant status only if they have the necessary relationship to a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident as described below. US citizen grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration. There is an annual quota for visas in the following categories. See Visa Bulletin for visa waiting periods. For additional information, see U.S. Department of State website or the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
- F1– Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children
- F2A– Spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents
- F2B– Unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent resident
- F3– Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children.
- 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.
Procedures for family based Immigrant Visas
Step 1: Filing an Immigrant Visa Petition I-130
Step 2: Apply for an Immigrant Visa