Family-based Immigration – Preference Categories
If your relationship does not qualify as an immediate relative relationship under the Immigration and Nationality Act, you may still qualify to adjust status if your relationship is one of the following:
First Preference: Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21 years of a United States citizen parent.
Second Preference: There are two subsections to this preference category:
- F-2A: This preference category includes spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents.
- F-2B: This preference category includes unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21 of lawful permanent residents.
Third Preference: This category includes married sons and daughters of United States citizens.
Fourth Preference: This category includes brothers and sisters of United States citizens. The United States citizen sibling must be at least 21 years of age.
Subject to Numerical Limitations
The above categories are subject to numerical limits annually. The Immigration and Nationality Act limits the number of family based immigrants to 480,000 annually. Each category above is delegated a specific number of visas annually plus any left over from specific categories in the year prior. Because there is a numerical limit on these preference categories, the beneficiary of a petition must wait much longer to receive a visa than a beneficiary of an immediate relative petition.
It is important to seek the advice of an experienced immigration attorney to determine whether a preference category petition is the right option for you or if you would qualify as an immediate relative. If you believe you may qualify to adjust your status to a lawful permanent resident, give the immigration attorneys at The Jarrett Firm, LLC a call today at 912.401.8880. We look forward to assisting you.