Family-Based Immigration

  • Immediate Relatives:
    • Who is an immediate relative?
      • Spouses of U.S. citizens.
      • Parents of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years-old.
      • Unmarried children (under the age of 21) of U.S. citizens.

    • What are the advantages of being an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen?
      • There are no numerical limitations on the number of immediate relatives who might emigrate from any country.
      • If the beneficiary entered the United States "legally" then the immediate relative is exempt from certain "bars" such as unauthorized employment, overstaying their time of admission, or violating their specific non-immigrant status.
  • Family-Based Preference Categories:
    • Family category-one:
      • Unmarried sons and daughters (over the age of 21) of U.S. citizens.

    • Family category-two:
      • 2A - Spouses and unmarried children (under the age of 21) of permanent residents.
      • 2B– Unmarried children (over the age of 21) of permanent residents.

    • Family category-three:
      • Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.

    • Family category-four:
      • Brothers and sisters of U.S. Citizens.

Important considerations:
  • Conditional Residence:
    • Where someone obtains an immigrant visa or lawful permanent residence based upon marriage as either an immediate relative or a Family 2A beneficiary, AND the marriage is less than 2 years-old, that individual is granted "conditional permanent resident" status.
    • "Conditional status" lasts for 2 years from the date the person becomes a lawful resident, not 2 years from the original marriage.
    • The person MUST petition to remove this status at a later date following specific instructions found under 8 C.F.R. Part 216.
  • Necessary Documents: