If you are living in America and are a lawful permanent resident or citizen, one of the things you can do is sponsor an immediate family member to come to the United States. As a Green Card holder, you have the option to petition for specific members of your family to come to the United States, such as your spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21 and others.
Each of these family members falls into a different preference category. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services sorts out the preference categories as follows:
- First preference is given to daughters and sons of citizens (21 and older) who have not yet married
- Second preference is given to the spouses of all Green Card-holding immigrants as well as the unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
- Second preference has another tier, 2B, which applies to adult sons and daughters of any age (who haven’t yet married) of permanent residents of the United States
- Third preference is given to daughters and sons of U.S. citizens at any age
- Finally, fourth preference is given to the siblings of any U.S. citizens
The visas for these categories are released on specific priority dates, so those who qualify will receive one so long as the I-130 form is filled out correctly and all necessary documentation was received and approved.
Are visas for family members limited?
Unlike some other forms of visas, immigrant visas for the immediate relatives of citizens are always available.
Other visas, such as family-sponsored preference visas, are limited to 226,000 new visas each year. Since there could be a high demand for visas, it’s important to apply as soon as possible to make sure that your family members can come to the country sooner rather than later.
Support can help this process go faster
If there is any issue with a visa application, it could be rejected. This will be costly and may mean your family member has to spend more time waiting to come to the U.S. Make sure you have all the legal support you need and a review of the documents you’re submitting before you apply, so you have a better chance at a quick approval.