file a family-based petition

Who Qualifies to File a Family-Based Petition? – As a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident, you may be eligible to petition for certain members of your family to immigrate to the United States and receive their green card. This entry pays special attention to which family members can be petitioned for.

Who Can a Permanent Resident File a Family-Based Petition For?

A permanent resident may file a family-based petition for:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21
  • Unmarried sons or daughters of any age

Who Can a U.S. Citizen File a Family-Based Petition For?

A U.S. citizen may petition for:

  • Spouses
  • Unmarried children under the age of 21
  • Parents
  • Married sons and daughters of any age
  • Brothers and Sisters

The benefit of having a U.S. citizen petitioner is that a visa is always readily available for immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. This means that the overall process takes less time and that the petitioner’s family members do not have to wait once their application is approved.

What Happens When the Petition is not for an Immediate Relative?

Lawful permanent residents and some U.S. Citizens will experience a longer wait time, depending on how distant the relationship is. The following information lists the preference categories that a beneficiary of a potential family-based petition may fall under. First Preference categories receive visas quicker, while Fourth Preference categories must wait significantly longer to receive their visas. Check with your immigration attorney to see how long you or a family member may have to wait to receive a visa via a family-based petition.

  • First preference (F1): Unmarried, adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens. (Adult means 21 or older)
  • Second Preference (F2A): Spouses of green card holders, unmarried children (under 21) of permanent residents
  • Second Preference (F2B): Unmarried adult sons and daughters of permanent residents
  • Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of adult U.S. citizens

Family-based petitions can involve a tremendous amount of forms, supporting documentation, and other case-specific evidence. It is important to consult with an experienced immigration lawyer before considering this option. The attorneys at Gilles Law, PLLC are here to assist you with your immigration inquiries.

This Blog/Web Site is made available by Gilles Law, PLLC, a Charlotte-based law firm, for educational purposes only as well as to give you general information and a general understanding of the law, not to provide specific legal advice. By using this blog site, you understand that there is no attorney-client relationship between you and the Blog/Web Site publisher. The Blog/Web Site should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a licensed professional attorney in your state.