Family Based Immigration

Los Angeles Legal Advocates works to keep families together.

What is family based immigration?

Family based immigration is when a US citizen or permanent resident of the United States sponsors a close relative for an immigrant visa. If you are a US citizen you are able to petition your spouse, child, parent or sibling. If you are a lawful permanent resident (ie. a green card holder), you can only file a petition for your spouse or child.

Immediate relative vs family preference categories

The relationship a petitioner has with their sponsor can have a big impact on the prioritization of their green card application. US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has two major categories for family based immigration. Family members are classified as either “immediate relatives” or “family preference”. 

Immediate relatives

Immediate relatives get special immigration priority, as there are an unlimited number of visas available to this category. Family members that fall into this designation are: 

  • Spouse of a US citizen (IR1)
  • Unmarried child of a US citizen that is under 21 years old (IR2)
  • Orphan adopted abroad by a US citizen (IR3)
  • Orphan adopted in the US by a US citizen (IR4)
  • Parent of a US citizen that is at least 21 years old (IR5)

Family preference relatives

The family preference categories contain all other family relationships that qualify for a family based green card.  The number of visas offered to family preference categories is limited so there is often a substantial wait for these petitioners. 

  • Unmarried children of US citizens that are over the age of 21 (F1)
  • Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents (green card holders) under age 21 (F2A)
  • Unmarried adult children of permanent residents (F2B)
  • Married children of US citizens of any age (F3)

How Los Angeles Legal Advocates can help

We offer a wide range of family based immigration services. Browse the list below to learn more or contact us now for a free consultation

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Other Family Based Services

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