Many people may obtain lawful permanent resident (LPR) status being sponsored by their family members. Such sponsorship falls into two categories: immediate family member sponsorship, and those falling under a proscribed preference category.
The following include immediate family sponsorships:
- Spouses of U.S. citizens,
- Parents of U.S. citizens, and
- Unmarried children under 21 years of age of US citizens.
Other family member sponsorships fall under a four-tier preference categories. They include:
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference.
Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents: 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers:
- (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents: 77% of the overall second preference limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit;
- (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents: 23% of the overall second preference limitation.
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences.
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
A visa is always available for the immediate family sponsorship, whereas a family member under a preference category may need to wait for visa availability in order to adjust status in the United States. Whether or not a visa is available is determined by a "priority date," which is the date an Immigrant Petition for a Relative was filed. Click on the link www.travel.state.gov, to check whether a visa is available for your preference category.