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Who may be eligible for a family preference visa?

People often enter the United States for educational or employment opportunities. They can sometimes qualify for green cards if they stay in the country for years and develop their relationships in the United States.

There are also visa programs that focus on family relationships. People can secure the legal right to enter the United States and remain here indefinitely based on their closest relationships. Some people living in other countries can obtain visas and even green cards because of their relationships with people who already live in the United States.

The family preference visa program allows foreign nationals an opportunity to enter the United States and quickly obtain a green card. Who is potentially eligible for a family preference visa?

Those related to a permanent resident

When an individual secures a green card, their permanent resident status may benefit both them and the people that they love. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) grants family preference visas to immediate family members of permanent residents. Spouses and unmarried children who are under the age of 21 may qualify under the second preference category of this program. Unmarried children who are over the age of 21 may qualify with a slightly lower preference than younger children and spouses.

Those related to United States citizens

Certain family members of citizens have other options for entering the United States. Minor, unmarried children, parents and spouses of United States citizens may qualify for visas or green cards using other programs. Certain other family members can secure family preference visas.

Unmarried children of citizens who are over the age of 21 are eligible for the highest priority consideration for family preference visas. The third preference category even allows citizens to help their married children of any age pursue a family preference visa. The lowest category of priority, the fourth preference category, allows citizens to help their siblings lawfully enter the United States.

A family preference visa is beneficial in part because it can quickly lead to a green card for the foreign national family member. The ability to bring siblings and married children into the United States is one reason why permanent residents decide to become citizens. Learning about different family-based immigration programs may benefit those who have loved ones living in other countries.

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