Family Based Immigration would depend whether the person petitioning to bring someone to the US is a US Citizen (USC) or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR).

Note there are certain immigrant visa’s open only to US Citizens. So your chance of filing for an immigrant visa for a family member or spouse is greater and much quicker if you are a USC.

The first step is simplistic but a very important one because it sets the ball rolling.First, you or your Attorney file your petition to the USCIS, and Second, the more complex and difficult step; when the Applicant’s file has been approved, and has to attend a Green card Interview.


 1)      Immediate Relative of a US Citizen. There is always a visa for this category, and they don’t have to wait in line. They qualify as soon as their documents are approved.  This is sacrosanct in the promotion of family unity.  We have the following in this category:

  •  Spouse of a US Citizen.
  •  Parent of a US Citizen –  provided the USC is over 21 years.
  •  Unmarried children of USC under 21 years.


 2)      Family Preference Category. If you are not an immediate relative of a USC as described above, you may still qualify under the “family preference category”. Those eligible under this category are:

  • Unmarried children over 21 years.
  • Married children of any age.
  • Brothers and Sisters of USC – if USC petitioning is over 21 years.
  • Spouse of US Citizen = = Always a Visa
  • Child of a US Citizen Under 21 years = Always a Visa
  • Parent of US Citizen == Always a Visa
  • Unmarried Children Over 21 Years == Visa Not Immediate
  • Married Children of Any Age of US Citizen == No Immediate Visa
  • Sibling of a US Citizen == Visa Not Immediate. Long Wait