Family-Based Immigrant Visas (Green Cards)
You may be eligible for a green card if you are a relative of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident. Your family member will have to petition for you. The following are categories of aliens who may qualify for an immigrant visa. A child includes adopted children and step-children.
Immediate Relatives (IR)
- You must be the spouse, parent, or child of a U.S. citizen. If your qualifying relative is a parent, you must be unmarried and under the age of 21. If your qualifying relative is a child, the child must be age 21 or older.
Family First Preference (F1)
- You must be age 21 or older, unmarried, and the child of at least one U.S. citizen parent
Family Second Preference (F2A)
- You must be the spouse or unmarried child under the age of 21, of a lawful permanent resident.
Family Second Preference (F2B) - You must be age 21 or older, and the unmarried child of a lawful permanent resident.
Family Third Preference (F3)
- You must be the married child of a U.S. citizen.
Family Fourth Preference (F4)
- You must be the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age.
Your family member must first file on your behalf, establishing the qualifying relationship. Once a visa number is available in your category, you may then apply for an immigrant visa. There are different quotas for each preference category, but there is no quota for immediate relatives. Wait times for a visa number vary depending on your current country of citizenship and preference category.