Immigration Visa for Relatives

There is a difference between immediate, and extended family members. Immediate family members are allowed to immigrate to the U.S. through normal filing procedures. Intentional delays are imposed on extended family members to limit chain migration.

1. Immediate Family Members

Immediate family members are foreigners who are related to a U.S. citizen as follows:

  1. spouse of a U.S. citizen
  2. fiancee of a U.S. citizen
  3. minor child under one of the following circumstances:
    • marriage of the parents occurred while the child was under the age of 18 and the foreign spouse processes on either a spousal visa or on a stateside adjustment of status application
    • the foreign parent processes on a fiancé visa and the child enters the U.S. on a K2 dependent visa prior to the age of 21 years
    • child who is under the age of 21 and unmarried at the time an immigrant petition is filed by a US citizen
    • child adoption undertaken in accordance with U.S. immigration rules
  4. parent of a U.S. citizen (any U.S. citizen child must be 21 years of age or older)

Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders
Deferred Action for Parents of U.S. Citizens and Green Card Holders

Immediate family members are allowed to immigrate to the U.S. through normal filing procedures.

Allan Scott Lolly

managing attorney

Contact us to discuss your case. Any family members are not immediate family are considered extended family. Added delays are imposed to immigrate certain extended family to help limit “chain migration”.

2. Extended Family

Extended family members include:

  1. [F1] Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Citizens
  2. [F2] Spouses, Children & Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Resident green card holders
    • [F2A] Spouses and Children
    • [F2B] Unmarried Sons and Daughters who are 21 years of age or older
  3. [F3] Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  4. [F4] Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens who are over the age of 21 years

Wait Times

The dates on following chart shows the delays after the initial petition was filed to immigrate a family member. Updated for July 2022 Application Date.

Chart 1: Dates for Filing Applications

Family-Sponsored
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-Mainland Born
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
F1
01JUL2016
01JUL2016
01JUL2016
01DEC2001
22APR2015
F2A
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
F2B
01OCT2016
01OCT2016
01OCT2016
08AUG2001
01OCT2013
F3
01OCT2009
01OCT2009
01OCT2009
15APR2001
08NOV2003
F4
08NOV2007
08NOV2007
22FEB2006
15MAR2001
22APR2004

 

These dates can change monthly, and we update them. The idea is that we must first file a petition for your foreign family member to immigrate to the U.S., and then wait until the date on the chart passes the petition filing date. Once the petition filing date above becomes current, the foreigner is eligible to apply for a visa if the foreigner is overseas or a green card if the foreigner happens to be in the U.S. and is in lawful status. (If the foreigner in the U.S. is not in lawful status, call us to discuss.)

With extended family members, you can see that some family members can immigrate to the US much faster than certain other family members. Also, certain countries such as China, Mexico, India, the Philippines, and the Dominican Republic have far more applications on average than other countries. These countries have a longer waiting time to process because of the large number of applicants.


Although we can file the foreigner’s application once the petition date above becomes current, the immigration agencies will not review the filings until the dates on following chart become current.

Chart 2: Application Final Action Dates (Priority Dates)

Family-Sponsored
All Chargeability Areas Except Those Listed
CHINA-Mainland Born
INDIA
MEXICO
PHILIPPINES
F1
01DEC2014
01DEC2014
01DEC2014
15MAR2000
01MAR2012
F2A
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
C (no wait)
F2B
22SEP2015
22SEP2015
22SEP2015
01APR2001
22OCT2011
F3
22NOV2008
22NOV2008
22NOV2008
15OCT1997
08JUN2002
F4
22MAR2007
22MAR2007
15SEP2005
01JUN2000
22AUG2002

The “C” listing indicates that the category is current, and that applications may be filed regardless of the applicant’s priority date. The listing of a date for any category indicates that only applicants with a priority date which is earlier than the listed date may file their application.

Why the two chart system?

Normally the foreign family member cannot proceed with case processing until the priority date on Chart 2 has been reached. Now, it is possible to file the application sooner according to the dates on Chart 1, but the immigration agencies will simply not complete case processing until the priority date is satisfied.

There Is a Big Benefit for Those Who Are in the US

By filing the application to adjust status stateside early under Chart 1, the foreigner is able to obtain work and international travel privileges sooner, while the case remains pending. You do not need to wait for the priority date to become current in order to file your application. This way, work and travel benefits come quicker, and allow the foreigner to have a normal life while waiting for the final decision on the case.

Often, we receive calls from U.S. citizens who wished they filed years ago because time passes fast. You cannot be together with your family members in the U.S. unless you get started!

Allan Scott Lolly

managing attorney

Be aware that if your family member has a B visitor visa, the visa is subject to cancellation and your foreign relative may be blocked from the U.S. until the immigrant visa is processed.


If you have an interest in filing a petition for an immediate or extended family member, please call us. Our legal fee to start a petition is not expensive, but depends on the case.


Call Us for a Free Immigration Consultation / Case Assessment

1-888-483-0311

U.S. toll free

+1 212-483-0311

Outside U.S.

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