It is important to understand that the principal objective of the Immigration and Nationality Act is “Family Unity.” High priority is assigned to this very important objective and family members of United States citizens and Permanent Residents are treated with special consideration. In fact, no numerical limitations are placed on the immigration of immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. “Immediate Relatives,” include spouses and children of U.S. citizens, parents of adult U.S. citizens, and certain widows and widowers of deceased citizens and their children.
People who want to become immigrants are classified into categories based on a ‘preference’ system. The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21, do not have to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available once the visa petition filed for them is approved by the USCIS. An immigrant visa number will be immediately available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. The relatives in the remaining categories must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the following preferences:
||Unmarried, adult [21 years of age or older] sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
||Spouses of lawful permanent residents, their unmarried children [under 21], and the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents.
||Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
||Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens.
To be eligible to sponsor a relative to immigrate to the United States you must meet the following criteria:
- You must be a citizen or a lawful permanent resident of the United States and be able to provide documentation proving your status.
- You must prove that you can support your relative at 125% above the mandated poverty line.
If you are a US Citizen you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
- Husband or wife;
- Unmarried child under 21 years old;
- Unmarried son or daughter over 21;
- Married son or daughter of any age;
- Brother or sister, if you are at least 21 years old; or
- Parent, if you are at least 21 years old.
If you are a lawful permanent resident you may petition for the following foreign national relatives to immigrate to the United States; however you must be able to provide proof of the relationships:
Unmarried son or daughter of any age.