A foreign national may acquire legal permanent residency status in the United States based on certain family relationships. Below are two types of family based immigrant visas:
Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa which is based on a close family relationship with a United States citizen. The number of immigrants under this type is not limited each fiscal year. The following are the categories of immediate relative visas:
- IR-1: Spouse of a United States Citizen
- IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a United States 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 Visa which is based on a specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The number of immigrants under this type is limited each fiscal year. The following are the categories of family preference visas:
- 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)
Fees: Fees are charged for the following services
- Filing of Immigrant Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130
- Processing an immigrant visa application, Form DS-260
- Medical examination and required vaccinations
- Other costs may include: translations, photocopying charges, fees for obtaining the documents needed for immigrant visa application, etc.
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