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Family Sponsored Immigration Petition (Form I-130)

Family Sponsored Immigration Petitions (Form I-130)

Before filing an application for legal permanent residence, you must first have an immigrant visa number immediately available to you. Such a visa number is commonly granted after a family member files a petition for you.

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Numerical Caps in Family Sponsored Preference Categories

In Family Sponsored Preference Categories, there are certain numerical limitations imposed by the Immigration and Nationality Act.

  • First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens, 21 years of age and older also qualify in this preference category.
  • Second Preference (A): Spouses and unmarried sons and daughters (under 21 years old) of lawful permanent residents.
  • Second Preference (B): Unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years old) of lawful permanent residents.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (as long as U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old)
  • A brother or sister of a U.S. citizen is, among other things, a sibling with at least one parent in common with the U.S. citizen.

Immediate Relatives:


  • Unmarried 
  • Under the age of 21
  • Stepchildren and adopted children qualify so long as they too are unmarried and under the age of 21

A U.S. Citizen may seek admission for a parent to the United States as an immediate relative. The U.S. Citizen son or daughter must be at least twenty one (21) years old.

A spouse is considered an immediate relative, as long as the couple has a “valid and subsisting marriage.” There is a two year conditional residence on spouses and their children before they are given full legal permanent residence, if the marriage was entered into two years before the non-citizen spouse obtains a legal status.

Click Here to check the visa bulletin for each family sponsored preference category.


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