Family Immigration Law
Family-Sponsored Immigration Visas
United States citizens may petition for their relatives (spouses, parents, children, and siblings). The visas for immediate relatives are always available where the related family member does not need to wait in line for a visa. The immediate relatives are considered to be the spouses, children (unmarried and under 21 years old) and parents.
While the visas for the other family members are subject to annual numerical limits. The preference categories apply to family members are grouped as follows:
- First preference: Unmarried, adult (21 years old or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
- Second Preference (2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents.
- Second preference (2B): Unmarried, adult (21 years old or older) sons and daughters of permanent residents.
- Third preference: Married sons and daughters of (any age)of U.S. citizens.
- Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
Adjustment of Status:
Adjustment of Status is a procedure through which an eligible applicant can become a lawful permanent resident of the United States inside the country, without applying for a visa overseas through what is called consular processing.
Eligibility to adjust status can differ based upon the category and the law or regulation that the applicant is applying under. There are many categories and the eligibility must be determined on a case by case bases. Applicants who are outside the United States, or are otherwise ineligible to adjust their status while inside the country may seek a visa abroad and try to enter as a permanent resident by going through what is known as consular processing.