Immediate relatives of US citizens have special immigration priority

by Ray Clancy on January 29, 2014

US officials are reminding US citizens that immediate relatives have special immigration priority and do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available for them to move.

In the United States there are an unlimited number of visas for particular categories which mean that certain relatives can live permanently in the United States. They include spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents if the US citizen is over the age of 21.


Certain relatives can obtain visas to live in the United States including spouses, unmarried children under the age of 21 and parents

For other relatives, a US citizen may petition for a Green Card and certain people are eligible to apply for a green card which gives them permanent residence while inside the United States.

‘If you are currently outside the United States and are an immediate relative of a US citizen, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing,’ said a spokesman for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS.)

Consular processing is when USCIS works with the Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. ‘You may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a US port of entry,’ the spokesman explained.

‘The Department of State will notify you when you are eligible to apply for an immigrant visa.  If you do not apply for an immigrant visa within one year following notification from the Department of State, your petition may be terminated,’ he added.

Officials also want to remind people that when an immediate relative child of a US citizen reaches 21 years of age, he or she generally will become a ‘first preference’ (F1) category son or daughter and will no longer have a visa immediately available. This change may result in a significant delay in adjustment of status or visa processing because he or she will now need to wait for an immigrant visa to become available.

If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she can no longer be classified as an immediate relative and will become a ‘third preference’ (F3) category married son or daughter of a US citizen and a visa would no longer be immediately available.

‘You must notify us of any change in your marital status after Form I-130 has been filed for you and prior to becoming a permanent resident or obtaining an immigrant visa,’ the spokesman said.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Kaylara January 30, 2014 at 4:11 pm

Who was this spokesperson? Whomever you spoke to failed to tell you that there’s a huge backlog with the I130 petitions for US Citizen Spouses, Parents, and Children. Right now, it’s taking well over 9 months for people to get just their petition approved. After that they have to go through the National Visa Center, and the finally the Embassy. As of this moment, it’s taking over a year for US Citizens Spouses, even though our visas have no numerical limit and are “immediately” available. (That’s assuming that your spouses isn’t from a high fraud country, wherein you will probably get put into administrative processing at the Embassy/Consulate level. And they can hold your case for YEARS without approving your visa application.)


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