When coming to the U.S. for more opportunities and a better life, you naturally want to bring your family along with you. Fortunately, immediate family members are eligible for immigration, provided you take the right steps. Here are some general guidelines on who is eligible for family immigration.
If you already have immediate relatives in the United States, they can apply for a green card right away if you are a citizen. This includes your spouse, unmarried children under the age of 21, and parents of U.S. citizens aged 21 or older. With this option, the family member applying for a green card is not required to wait in line, as their application can be processed immediately.
In the event there is another family member that wishes to obtain entry into the country, their preference category will need to be assessed first. Because these visas are limited, they are more difficult to obtain. Applicants are also subject to a priority date, which is the date which they filed Form I-130. The first preference includes unmarried children of adult citizens that are aged 21 or older. The second preference 2A includes people married to those already holding green cards and children of permanent residents that are unmarried and under the age of 21. Second preference 2B includes unmarried adult children of permanent residents aged 21 or older.
When it comes to third preference, this includes married children of citizens, regardless of the children’s age. The fourth preference is the last category, and this includes siblings of existing citizens that are 21 or older. In this case, applications can be married or unmarried.