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Basics of the family preference immigration program

On Behalf of | Nov 3, 2021 | Immigration |

U.S. immigration policy has been changing over the years, and the changes may affect immigrants hoping to move to New Jersey or already living there and looking to gain a change in visa status. One program allows relatives of United States citizens to receive preference visas. If you’re interested in learning what this program is and how it may affect you, keep reading.

What is family preference immigration?

The family preference immigration program is a way for United States citizens to petition the government to allow their immediate relatives, including parents, spouses and children, to enter the country. The types of visas that are available to family members of United States citizens under the family preference immigration program include the following:

  • First preference (F-I): U.S. citizens’ unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years old or over.
  • Second preference (F-II): U.S. lawful permanent residents’ spouses and their children under 21 years old. This category also includes the unmarried sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents if they are over 21 years old.
  • Third preference (F-III): U.S. citizens’ married sons and daughters aged 21 or over as well as their unmarried children under age 21.
  • Fourth Preference (F-IV): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens who are 21 years old or over and their unmarried children who are under age 21.

Are there any restrictions?

There are several different factors that can affect whether you qualify for an immediate relative visa under the family preference immigration program. For instance, your age, marital status and health can all affect your eligibility.

Remember that in order to qualify for this type of visa, you must have an immediate relative who’s a U.S. citizen or who holds permanent residence status. The family preference program makes it much easier for direct relatives to gain a visa as compared to distant relatives.