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What are the categories for family-based immigration?

In our previous blog post, we discussed some of the changes that are coming to the investor's visa program. That is the visa program that has monetary requirements, as well as other requirements. That isn't the only visa program that can help people who want to come into the United States. Family-based immigration is another method that some people use to come into the country.

What is family-based immigration?

Family-based immigration is an effort to unite family members. Citizens of the U.S. and people who are lawful permanent residents are allowed to bring family members into the country if the family members meet certain requirements. Any family member must fall into one of two categories -- immediate family members or ones who qualify through the family preference system.

What is an immediate family member?

For the purpose of a family-based immigration, an immediate family member is an unmarried minor child of a U.S. citizen, a spouse of a U.S. citizen, or the parents of a U.S. citizen. These family members must meet certain requirements, such as age requirements to qualify.

Who might qualify under the family preference system?

Under the family preference system, spouses and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents and adult children of U.S. citizens might qualify for a visa. Brothers and sisters of a U.S. citizen can also qualify under the family preference system.

If you are interested in bringing a family member to the United States using a family-based visa, you should learn about all the requirements that are applicable to your situation. From there, you can move forward with the petition if your loved one meets the requirements.

Source: American Immigration Council, "How the United States Immigration System Works: A Fact Sheet," accessed Dec. 23, 2015

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