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Family Reunion


Both U.S. Citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) may apply to sponsor certain relatives for permanent residence (commonly known as a Green Card).

Who is Eligible for a Family Visa?

Immediate relatives have no numerical limit, but the Family Preference Categories are limited in availability each fiscal year.

Family Time

Immediate Relatives

  • Spouse of U.S. citizen (IR-1)

  • Unmarried child under 21 of U.S. citizen (IR-2)

  • Orphan adopted abroad by U.S. citizen (IR-3)

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

  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old (IR-5 )

Family Preference Categories

  • Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, their spouses and their children (F1; 23,400 available/year).

  • Spouses and children of Lawful Permanent Residents (F2A; 114,200 available/year).

  • Unmarried sons and daughters (21 years or older) of Lawful Permanent Residents (F2B; approximately 23% of the 114,200 from F2A).

  • Married sons and daughters of US citizens (F3; 23,400 available/year).

  • Siblings of adult US citizens (F4; 65,000 available/year).

Family Walking Around the Neighborhood

Filing a petition under a family preference category will assign a "Priority Date," essentially a place in line.  Visa availability for family preference categories are updated monthly on the 

For purposes of immigration law, a "child" is a son or daughter under 21 years of age, while a son or daughter is over 21 years of age.

Process for Sponsoring a Relative

There are three general criteria needed to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States:

Taj Mahal
  1. Demonstrate that you are a U.S. citizen or LPR (green card holder).

  2. Demonstrate the relationship between you, as the sponsor, and the beneficiary, your relative. 

  3. Demonstrate that you would be able to support your Alien Relative (the requirement is support at 125% of the poverty line).

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