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Limited Family-Based Immigrants

These types of immigrant classifications involve specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident. Under immigration law, there are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants as explained below.

·                     Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children, if any. (23,400)

·                     Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (114,200) At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.

·                     Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (23,400)

·                     Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)

Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.

Numerical Limitations for Limited Family-Based Immigrants

Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a category than there are available numbers, the category will be considered oversubscribed, and immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the numerical limit for the category is reached. The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain heavily oversubscribed categories, there may be a waiting period of several years before a priority date is reached. Check the
Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.

Is There a Minimum Age Requirement for the Petitioner?

There is no minimum age to file a petition for a Family-Based immigrant visa. However, you must be 18 years of age and have a domicile in the U.S. before you can sign the Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, and this form is required for an immigrant visa for spouses and other relatives of U.S. sponsors.

Is a U.S. Domicile Required?

You must have a
domicile (residence) in the United States before we can issue an immigrant visa to your family member. This is because a U.S. domicile is required to file an Affidavit of Support, Form I-864, and this form is required for all immediate family members of a U.S. citizen involved in an immigrant visa case.