Family-based immigration is the primary way for people to legally immigrate to the United States. Under immigration law, U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents can sponsor certain family members for a visa that provides permanent residence or a “Green Card.”

Detailed Description:

There are two groups of family based immigrant visa categories -- the immediate relative immigrant visa, and the family preference immigrant visa -- provided under the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

The Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are visas based on a close family relationship with a US citizen, or being an immediate relative. The number of immigrants in these categories are unlimited each fiscal year. The types of visas include:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. citizen

  • IR-2: Unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen

  • IR-3: Orphaned adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen

  • IR-4 Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen

  • IR-5: Parents of a U.S. citizen at least 21 years of age

Family Preference Visas are visa types for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a lawful permanent resident. Each is subject to fiscal year limitations. The types of visas include:

  • F1: Unmarried children of U.S. citizens and their minor children, if any

  • F2: Spouses, minor children, and unmarried children over the age of 21 of legal permanent residents

  • F3: Married children of U.S. citizens, their spouses, and minor children

  • F4: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens over the age of 21, their spouses and minor children

If you or anyone in your family is planning on applying for or sponsoring an family-based immigration visa, JLG can help. With our team of experienced immigration attorneys, it can make the process of applying for any of the above mentioned visas worry and stress free.


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