Permanent Residence through Relatives
There are five categories under which an individual can obtain permanent residency through relatives. They are:
- Immediate relatives of US citizens: There are no quotas and no priority date waiting for immediate relatives of US citizens. They are defined as: spouses of US citizens (including widows and widowers who were married to the US citizen for at least 2 years and are applying within 2 years of the citizen’s death); unmarried people under 21 who have at least one US citizen parent; parents of US citizens, if the US citizen is over 21.
- First Preference-Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens
- Second Preference-(F-2A) Spouses and unmarried children of permanent residents (F-2B) Unmarried sons and daughters of green card holders who are at least 21.
- Third Preference-Married sons and daughters of US citizens
- Fourth Preference- Brothers and sisters of US citizens
The waiting period to obtain an immigrant visa through relatives will vary depending on one’s preference category and one’s country of origin. Nationals of Mexico, India, People’s Republic of China and the Philippines generally have longer waits in these categories.