Family unification remains one of the principal cornerstones of the United States’ system of lawful immigration. Family-based immigrants fall into two main categories:
- Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens who are not subject to quota restrictions
- Preference immigrants, or immigrants admitted under a system of worldwide and country-specific quotas
At the Law Offices of Robert P. Gaffney, our lawyers provide exceptional and personalized services to families around the globe through the immigration process. Call us in California at 415-503-9653 to arrange a consultation with one of our skilled attorneys.
Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
U.S. immigration law provides for the immigration of parents, spouses and unmarried minor children (under 21 years of age) of United States citizens without quota restrictions.
Family-Based Preference Immigrants
Preference immigrants who are eligible to immigrate subject to quota restrictions are classified into the following preference categories:
- First preference/FB1 — Unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Second preference/FB2A — Spouses and unmarried minor sons and daughters of those with legal permanent resident (LPR) status
- Third preference/FB2B — Unmarried adult sons and daughters of those with LPR
- Fourth preference/FB3 — Married adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- Fifth preference/FB4 — Siblings of U.S. citizens
The processing of a family-based immigration case begins with the filing of a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The U.S. citizen or LPR petitioner files a Form I-130 on behalf of the alien beneficiary. On I-130 approval, preference immigrants are then placed on a visa waiting list based on their “priority date,” which is the date the Form I-130 was filed. When the priority date becomes current, the beneficiary and any qualified dependents may apply to become lawful permanent residents of the U.S.
For information on specific family-based immigration provisions and issues, click here.