The Different Types of Visas in Family Immigration

The Different Types of Visas in Family ImmigrationThere are many different types of visas that foreigners can seek to enter the United States for a short term or permanently. Each type of visa has its own set of requirements. The main types of immigration visas that Tennessee residents seek for relatives are immediate relative visas and family sponsored visas.

Immigrant visas available for families

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are unlimited. This means the government doesn’t cap the number of these types of visas that are available for families throughout the U.S. each year. There’s generally no additional waiting period once the application is approved. Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas are generally available for:

  • A spouse of a US citizen
  • An unmarried child of a US citizen where the child is under 21
  • An orphan who was adopted or is about to be adopted by a US citizen
  • A parent of a US citizen where the citizen is 21-years-of-age or older

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are for less immediate relatives. These are limited, meaning there are caps on the number that can be issued in a year. Visas are available, provided the requirements are met, as follows (caps are noted):

  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any. (23,400)
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs (Lawful Permanent Residents). At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters. (114,200)
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (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. (65,000)

(Family-Based Immigration Visas, Bureau of Consular Affairs)

Grandparents, uncles, aunts, cousins, and in-laws can act as immigration sponsors.

Immigrants who are approved for a family-sponsored visa when the cap limit has been reached are given a priority date – essentially a waiting period for eligibility. The waiting period can be several years.

We understand how essential it is to bring you loved ones to the United States. Families should be united. At the Law Office of Perry A. Craft, PLLC, we explain the immigration process. This includes explaining if your relative is eligible and then guiding you through each phase of the family immigration process. For help now, please call Nashville lawyer Perry A. Craft at 615-953-3808 or fill out our contact form to schedule an appointment.