The process of lawfully immigrating to the Unites States can be quite complex, and as many people in Plano know, is not a privilege immediately afforded to everyone. At the same time, countless people are legally granted residency in the U.S. every year (indeed, the Department of Homeland Security reports that 1,031,000 people were granted lawful permanent residency status in 2019 alone). A large number of these people are folks hoping to be reunited with their families. Yet all immigration opportunities cannot be reserved for family reunification. As such, family immigration quotas have been established to govern the number of visas allotted to those looking to meet up with loved ones already in the U.S. 

Per the American Immigration Council, an unlimited number of visas are made available to the immediate family members of adult U.S. citizens. In this particular context, “immediate family members are considered to be parents, spouses and unmarried minor children. The relatives of other types of U.S. residents fall into the family preference hierarchy. This system (and the number of visas allotted to each category) is broken down as follows: 

  • Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens: 23,400 
  • Spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents: 87,900 
  • Unmarried adult children of LPR’s: 26,300 
  • Married adult children of U.S. citizens: 23,400 
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens: 65,000 

The numbers for each category are not static from year-to-year. If there are not enough petitions coming from the siblings of U.S. citizens to meet the allotment, the unused number are given to unmarried adult children of citizens. If not enough unmarried adult children of residents or spouses and minor children of LPR’s request visas, those unused visas go to the married adult children of citizens. Finally, all unused visas in any of the preference categories are uses to fill sibling requests.