Family Based 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
  • 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)

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.

Family Based Visas (Non-immigrant)

  1. Fiancé(e) (k-1)
    This option is not available to U.S. Green Card Holders.  A U.S. Citizen may petition for his / her Fiancé to enter United States via K-1 Visa for a period of 90-days.  Within this time period, should the couple marry, the U.S.Citizen can then move forward with applying for a Green Card for his / her spouse.
  2. K-3 & K-4 Visas
    In the spirit of Family Unity, K-3 Visa (Non-Immigrant Visa) may allow for the spouse of a U.S. Citizen to travel to United States allot faster, and to wait for Immigrant Visa (obtain Green Card) while in the United States.If your foreign spouse has minor children, a K-4 Visa may be used similarly for your spouse’s children.  Careful planning and timing of this Visa category is critical to a successful outcome.
  3. Returning Residents of the U.S. (SB)
    This visa category qualifies for a Permanent Resident or Conditional Resident (CR) who has resided outside of the United States for more than one year or longer than their validity period of the permit to re-enter the United States for reasoning/circumstances that are out of their control.As substantial documentation for the reasoning behind longer stay will need to be submitted, it is important to discuss this with an experienced Immigration Attorney prior to proceeding.