Family-Based Immigration

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  2. Glossary
  3. Family-Based Immigration

Family-Based Immigration is one of a primary method U.S. immigration law provides foreign nationals to become U.S. lawful permanent residents. Under the current immigration law, there are two types of family-based immigrant visas

  1. Immediate Relative - when U.S. citizen petition for their spouse, child or parent. This category does not have a limit for the number of immigrants each fiscal year.
  2. Family Preference - the visa number for this category is limited each fiscal year, applicants has to wait in line for their turn due to the limited quota. Immigration visas in this category include:
    • F1: U.S. citizens petition for unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older)
    • F2A and F2B: Permanent residents petition for spouses and children or unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age or older)
    • F3: U.S. citizen petition for married sons and daughters
    • F4: U.S. citizens petition for brothers and sisters


To be a family-based immigration sponsor, you must be a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident. You must be at least age of 21 (18 if petition for spouse) and meet the minimum income requirement for affidavit of support.

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