Family Immigration Immediate Relatives of US Citizens
There is no limit to the number of visas that can be issued for applicants who qualify as immediate relatives. Immediate relatives are divided into three categories which are:
Unlike immediate relatives, the following family members are subject to numerical limitations for the number of immigrant visas available each year. They are divided into different 'preferences' just as are applicants for employment visas. The family preference categories are:
Determining the correct relationship for family-based immigrants is very important and the Immigration & Naturalization Act has definitions to determine who is a 'spouse', 'child', 'parent', 'son or daughter' and 'brother or sister'.
Just because a person is married does not necessarily make that person a 'spouse' under INA rules. The marriage must have been valid at the time it was performed, which means if there are any divorces they too must have been valid. Also, the marriage ceremony must be recognized as legal in the place where it is performed, and each party must have been legally able to marry. Further, the marriage must still be in existence, and the marriage must not have been entered into for immigration purposes.
A 'child' means an unmarried person under the age of 21 who can be:
If the person is over 21 years of age or married, then he/she is a 'son' or 'daughter' for immigration purposes. However, a 'son' or 'daughter' must also have qualified as a 'child' when he/she was less than 21 years of age.
A parent will always be a parent as long as a person qualifies, or has qualified as a child, except under some circumstances regarding orphans.
Brother or Sister
Children born to the same parents and another child born to the same mother, even if the father is different.
Nothing on this site should be construed as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is general content only, and should
not be relied upon for any specific information. For specific legal advice consult an experienced immigration attorney.
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