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Family Based Immigration 

Many individuals arrive in the United States with the hope of succeeding and helping their family back home. Thankfully, legal grounds exist that permit individuals to apply for their family members based on their Lawful Permanent Residence or U.S. Citizenship.


Individuals seeking to migrate to the United States of America based on familial relationships fall into “Preferences” categories. According to the Preference System, if their immigrant visa petition is approved, they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. An exception exists for the U.S. citizens’ immediate relatives, which exclusively include parents, spouses, and unmarried children under the age of 21, who do not have to wait (in a queue) for an immigrant visa number to become available once the immigrant visa petition is approved. Instead, an immigrant visa number comes readily available for the immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens.

The relatives other than the immediate relative categories must wait for a visa number to become available according to the following preferences:


  1. First preference (F1) - unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of U.S. citizens;

  2. Second preference (F2A) - spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;

  3. Second preference (F2B) - unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of lawful permanent residents;

  4. Third preference (F3) - married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

  5. Fourth preference (F4) - brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).

The process and documentation required varies if you are in the United States or abroad, so click below to schedule a free consultation today at Elsouri Law & Consultants to learn more about the process!

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