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Family-Sponsored Permanent Residence

We here at ILG understand the emotional and financial difficulties associated in being apart from a family member.

Long delays, government administrative snafus and security clearance issues are not uncommon. At ILG, we strive to reduce the difficulties associated with family-based immigration. We clearly explain any potential problems, provide the most accurate processing time estimates available, and perform any needed follow-ups with an agency or embassy. 

There are five categories under which an individual can obtain permanent residence through relatives.

  1. Immediate relatives of US citizens: There are no quotas and no priority date waiting for immediate relatives of US citizens. They are defined as: spouses of US citizens (including widows and widowers who were married to the US citizen for at least 2 years and are applying within 2 years of the citizen's death); unmarried people under 21 who have at least one US citizen parent; parents of US citizens, if the US citizen is 21 or over.

  2. First Preference-Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens (23,400 per year, plus unused visas from the fourth Preference);

  3. Second Preference-(F2A) Spouses and unmarried children of US citizens(114,000 per year, plus excess over 226,000 the floor for family based immigration, plus unused visas from the first Preference); (F2B) Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders who are at least 21.

  4. Third Preference-Married sons and daughters of US citizens (23,400 per year, plus unused visas from the first and second Preferences);

  5. Fourth Preference-Brothers and sisters of US citizens (65,000 per year, plus unused visas from the first second and third Preferences).

The waiting period to obtain an immigrant visa through relatives will vary depending on one's preference category and one's country of origin. Nationals of Mexico, India, People's Republic of China and the Philippines generally have longer waits in these categories. Please see the Visa Bulletin to find out which cases are being processed in your preference category.

Unless the beneficiary is an immediate relative of a US citizen (see above), one will not be eligible to process the immigrant visa abroad or file for adjustment of status in the US unless there is a visa currently available under the annual quota preference system found at the US State Department's Visa Bulletin. One's priority date is established when form I-130 is filed.

Every family-based visa filing has its own unique issues.  Please contact us to find out how our immigration lawyers can assist you.

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