There are many Americans who wish to be reunited with their family overseas. You can do this by sponsoring certain family members for a family-based visa. Below, our Orange county immigration team outlines everything you need to know about who is eligible and what the process looks like.
U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents are the only two categories of people that can sponsor a visa for a family member.
Only immediate family members of citizens of the United States are eligible for immediate family visas. There is no limit on the number of immediate family members that can be sponsored during a fiscal year.
However, lawful permanent residents must be aware of the preference system, which specifies which family members can be sponsored. In contrast to immediate family visas, these are limited to a certain number each fiscal year, which cannot exceed 480,000.
Who Can be Sponsored?
Current United States citizens can sponsor anyone in their immediate family. It includes their spouse, children under age 21, parents, and siblings.
Lawful permanent residents currently residing in the U.S. under a green card of their own can only file a petition for their spouse or unmarried children. They must adhere to the preference system if they wish to sponsor a relative outside of those categories.
The preference system distributes a limited number of visas each year based on five different classifications of relatives. It is utilized by lawful permanent residents and United States citizens who wish to sponsor family members that fall outside the requirements for an immediate family visa. These preferences include:
- F1: First preference - Children under 21 who are not married and are citizens of the United States
- F2A: Second preference - Unmarried spouses and unmarried children under 21 of permanent residents
- F2B: Second preference - Children of lawful permanent residents under the age of 21 who are not married
- F3: Third preference - Married children of current U.S. citizens
- F4: Fourth preference - siblings of U.S. citizens over 21 years of age
Contact Our Experienced Team Today!
Navigating the immigration process on your own can seem like a daunting task. At Yekrangi & Associates, we're committed to providing you with personalized and compassionate support for your immigration needs.
Please contact us at [F:P:Sub:Phone] or through our online contact form to learn more about the ways we can help you sponsor a family!