Family-sponsored immigration accounts for around 700,000 people immigrating to the United States every year. Lawful permanent residents (LPR) and U.S. citizens can bring members of their family from other countries to permanently live in the United States of America.
Citizens and permanent residents differ regarding which members of the family can be sponsored for residency in America. According to USAFIS, “United States citizens can sponsor a spouse, children, parents, and brothers and/or sisters.”
A lawful permanent resident can sponsor a spouse or unmarried children only. Neither group can sponsor distant family members, such as uncles, aunts, or cousins. There are several different options available, but all are subject to visa allotment and waiting times.
The Immediate Relative Option is for an American citizen who has a spouse, unmarried and minor children, or parents. According to USAFIS, approximately 500,000 visas have been issued yearly in recent years.
The first preference is for a United States citizen whose relation is with unmarried adult children and their minor children. 23,400 visas per year are allocated along with any visas left from the fourth preference.
The second preference is an LPR sponsoring any unmarried adult children. 26,300 visas per year are allocated for this option. The second preference is also an LPR sponsoring an unmarried adult child. There are 26,300 visas allocated yearly for this option.
The third preference is for a U.S. citizen sponsoring married adult children along with their spouses and children. 23,400 visas per year, plus any left over from the first and second preferences are allowed.
The fourth and final preference is for a U.S. citizen sponsoring brothers and sisters, and their spouses and minor children. There are 65,000 allocated visas per year, plus any left over from the previous preferences.
When a visa sponsored this way is received, the immigrant can legally work and live in the United States. Please note that the requirements for these visas may be updated at any time. Contact USAFIS today for more information on how to go through the immigration process to move to the United States.