Family Based USA Green Cards

A-Family Based Green Cards (Immigrant)

Immediate Relative (Unlimited): the following Immediate relatives (IR’s) of U.S. Citizens enjoy benefiting from this category, as there are no limits to the number of visas issued each fiscal year:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
_______________IR-1 ______ IR-2IR-3IR-4IR-5
WHO CAN APPLYSpouse of U.S. Citizen Unmarried Child under 21 yrs of age of a U.S CitizenOrphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
(under 21 yrs of age)
Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. CitizenParent of a U.S. Citizen, The U.S. Citizen
Petitioner must be above 21 Yrs
VISA ISSUED EACH FISCAL YEARUnlimited UnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimitedUnlimited
AVERAGE
TIMELINE
8-14 Months3-14 months8-14 Months8-14 Months8-14 Months
EMPLOYMENT / STUDYYesYesYesYesYes
DRIVER’S LICENSEYesYesYesYesYes
SSNYesYesYesYesYes

Distant Family Members (Limited):  Visas for this category are limited per fiscal year.  There are generally 4 “Preference categories” for this classification:

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. (No. of Visas: 23,400)
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs. (No. of Visas: 114,200)
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (No. of Visas: 23,400)
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (No. of Visas: 65,000)
_______________ (F1)(F2-A)(F2-B)(F3)(F4)
WHO CAN APPLYUnmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if anySpouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over)Unmarried adult sons and daughters (21 years or older)Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor childrenBrothers & sisters of U.S. citizens, & their spouses & minor children, petitioner should be above 21
VISA ISSUED EACH FISCAL YEAR23,40079,94034,26023,40065,000
AVERAGE
TIMELINE
8 Yrs24 Months7 Yrs1 to 10 Yrs13 Yrs
EMPLOYMENT / STUDYYesYesYesYesYes
DRIVER’S LICENSEYesYesYesYesYes
SSNYesYesYesYesYes

The process for filing for any of these categories is very similar, although the wait times are vastly different, and are determined by which category (and which nationality) the Beneficiary qualifies under.

Therefore, a careful analysis of options with an experienced Immigration Attorney is critical while planning your move to the United States.  Proper planning may prevent:

  1. Denial of your case;
  2. Substantial Delays in processing your case;
  3. Loss of your filing fees (if your case has been denied);
  4. Having to refile your case (repayment);
  5. Aging out of your children (if applicable);
  6. Being barred from entry to the United States.