I-130 Family Based Petitions

For immigrant petitions based on familial relationships, there are two types of categories:

Immediate Relatives

In this category visa numbers are generally available.

  1. Spouses of United States citizens.
  2. Minor children (under 21) of United States citizens.
  3. Parents of United States citizens provided that the petitioner is at least 21 years of age.
  4. Spouses of deceased United States citizens who were married for at least two years at the time of their citizen spouses' death are eligible for immigrant visas, provided the couple was not legally separated at that time and the alien's spouse files immediate relative petition within two years of the death of the citizen spouse, and the alien does not remarry. Minor children (under 21) will also be considered.

Preference Immigrants

  • First Preference:
    Unmarried sons and daughters of United States citizens (who are of 21 years of age or older).
  • Second Preference:
    1. Spouses or children of an alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence.
    2. Unmarried sons or unmarried daughters of an alien admitted for permanent residence.
  • Third Preference:
    Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. citizens of the United States.
  • Fourth Preference:
    Brothers and sisters of citizens of the United States, if such citizens are at least 21 years of age. Presently there is a wait for visas in this category.

Derivatives Beneficiaries

The spouse of the child of the principal alien under the family sponsored preferences is entitled to the same status and order of consideration, if accompanying or following to join the spouse or parent.

Generally some of the categories require an extended period before visa numbers become available. Subject to the worldwide level for family-sponsored immigrants, the various preference provisions specify the number of the immigrant visas to be allotted to each of the family preference categories.