If you wish to become a legal permanent resident according to the fact that you have a relative who is a US citizen or is a legal permanent resident, your relative will need to sponsor you and prove that he/she has enough income or assets to support you in the United States. To petition for a family member to receive a green card (permanent residence), you begin by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative which establishes the family relationship that exists between you and your relative. Sometimes the I-130 can be filed together with an application for permanent residence, officially known as Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.

Eligible immediate relatives include the U.S. citizen’s:

Immediate relative visa types are as follows:

• IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
• IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
• IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
• IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
• IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

Immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to immigrate because there are an unlimited number of visas for their particular categories.

Other Family Members

  • First preference (F1): Unmarried, adult (means 21 or older) sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
  • Second Preference (F2): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
  • Second Preference (F3): Married adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
  • Third Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizen are at least 21 years old.
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