Family Preference Visas
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Family Preference Immigrants – 22 CFR § 42.31

Portions of the content on this page are available as public information on the USCIS website.

Criteria for Eligibility

Certain relatives of U.S. Citizens that do not qualify as immediate relatives may still be able to apply for lawful permanent residency based on their familial relationship. Pursuant to 22 CFR § 42.31, individuals who qualify as family preference immigrant include:

  • First preference (F1) – unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of U.S. citizens;
  • Second preference (F2A) – spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents;
  • Second preference (F2B) – unmarried sons and daughters, 21 years of age and older, of lawful permanent residents;
  • Third preference (F3) – married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and
  • Fourth preference (F4) – brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age and older).

Application Process

The first step in obtaining lawful permanent residence is filing a Form I-130 with USCIS including proof of the U.S. Citizen family members citizenship and familial relationship. If the foreign national relative entered the United States lawfully, they may be able to file an application to adjust status to lawful permanent residence concurrently with or after approval of the Form I-130 provided that an immigrant visa is immediately available to the foreign national relative.

If the foreign national is outside of the United States, upon Form I-130 approval they can proceed with Immigrant Visa processing through a U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad provided that an immigrant visa is immediately available to the foreign national relative. The foreign national can enter the United States as a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) upon approval of their immigrant visa.

For information on immigrant visa availability, please refer to the below website links:

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