Family-based immigration basics

On Behalf of | Dec 27, 2021 | Immigration

Family-based immigration options can be important for many families who wish to understand different immigration options. For that reason, it is helpful for families to understand family-based immigration basics.

Family immigration basics

Citizens and legal permanent residents are able to sponsor family members for immigration visas or green cards. The closer the family link between the citizen or legal permanent resident sponsoring the family member and the family member, the greater number of visas are available. Though the number of visas available is limited annually, sponsorships based on family relationships can avoid those limits.

United States citizens can petition for visas on behalf of a spouse or their child under the age of 21; their parent if they are over the age of 21; an unmarried child over the age of 21 and their children; their married child of any age and their children; and their sibling and their spouse and children if the citizen is over the age of 21. U.S. permanent residents can petition for a visa on behalf of their spouse and their child under the age of 21 or an unmarried child over the age of 21.

Petitions brought by U.S. citizens receive higher priority than petitions brought by permanent legal residents according to immigration law. Immediate relatives, which includes spouses and children under the age of 21, experience the shortest waiting period. It is useful for families seeking immigration options to be familiar with how immigration law may be able to help them with immigration options so that their family can be together.