If you have immigrated to the United States and become a naturalized citizen or a legal permanent resident, then it is only natural for you to want your family to eventually join you in Boulder. After listening to news stories related to immigration issues, it may seem as though getting your family members approved for visas is next to impossible. Fortunately, you already have a built-in advantage given that you are already here.
It is the policy of the U.S. government to place a priority on visa cases that will reunite a family. Thus, bringing your family over may be much easier than trying to gain entry for the first time. The question that you should be asking is exactly how many visas the government allots for family immigration each year.
Understanding visa quotas
The American Immigration Council states that the Immigration and Nationality Act makes 675,000 visas available to new entrants to the U.S. each year. Given the number of people trying to gain entry into the country, those numbers can quickly fill up.
Fortunately, visas granted to certain types of family members of U.S. citizens do not count against that quota. If you are a citizen and your spouse, parents or unmarried minor children want to join you in the country, there is an unlimited number of visas available to help them do so.
Visa allotments for other families
If you are a legal permanent resident, there are up to 87,900 visas available to help your spouse and minor children gain access to the country. Your parents may also be able to get a couple of the 26,300 visas made available to the parents of LPRs. If you are a naturalized citizen, up to 46,800 visas are available to help your adult children (married or unmarried) to come to the U.S. An additional 65,000 visas are available to the siblings of U.S. residents.
The total number of visas available for the purposes of family immigration varies from year to year. However, federal law requires that it never be less than 226,000.