Law Office of Jae Lee

6860 Dallas Pkwy
Suite 200
Plano, TX 75024
P:  972-905-2170

Family Based Immigration

Two groups of family based immigrant visa categories, including immediate relatives and family preference categories, are provided under the provisions of United States immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).


Employment Based Immigration

Every fiscal year, approximately 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas are made available to qualified applicants. Employment based immigrant visas are divided into five preference categories. Certain spouses and children may accompany or follow-to-join employment-based immigrants.


Non-Immigrant Visas

A non-immigrant visa is most frequently a tourist, business, student or specialty worker travel document that permits you to travel to the United States during the validity of the visa to accomplish a specific purpose, such as visiting, studying or working in a specialty job.


Check Your Priority Date to See If It Is Current? 

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Want to Check the Visa Bulletin? 

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Want to understand how the Immigrant Visa Process Works?  

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Family-Based Immigrant Visas


Two groups of family based immigrant visa categories, including immediate relatives and family preference categories, are provided under the provisions of United States immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).

1.  Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (Unlimited): These visa types are based on a close family relationship with a United States (U.S.) citizen described as an Immediate Relative (IR). The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited each fiscal year. Immediate relative visa types include:

IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen - Learn More
IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen - Learn More
IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen - Learn More
IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

2.  Family Preference Immigrant Visas (Limited): These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). There are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants, shown at the end of each category. The family preference categories are:

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. 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)

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

Numerical Limitations for Limited Family-based Preference Categories
Whenever the number of qualified applicants for a category exceeds the available immigrant visas, there will be an immigration wait. In this situation, the available immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed using their priority date. The filing date of a petition becomes what is called the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain categories with many approved petitions compared to available visas, there may be a waiting period of several years, or more, before a priority date is reached. Check the Visa Bulletin in the blue block on the right side of the page for the latest priority dates.