Family-Sponsored Immigration

A large majority of persons immigrating annually to the United States are able to do so because of a family relationship.

United States Citizens may petition for permanent residency of the following relatives:

  1. Spouse and Fiancé
  2. Parent
  3. Children of all ages
  4. Sibling

Lawful Permanent Residents (green card holders) may petition for permanent residency of the following relatives:

  1. Spouse
  2. Unmarried Children of all ages
To contact an attorney about family-sponsored immigration to the United States, click here.

Spouses, parents and children of United States citizens are known as “immediate relatives.” The number of immediate relatives who may immigrate annually is not limited. Other categories of relatives are limited by a quota system. The date of filing a visa petition establishes a “priority date.” When a priority date becomes “current” on the Visa Bulletin published monthly by the Department of State, the immigrating relative is
eligible to complete the permanent residency process. There is so much demand from relatives in certain categories that those categories have become ridiculously backlogged.

For example, a sibling of a United States citizen may have to wait forty years for permanent residency. Even the spouse of a permanent resident may have a wait of several years before he or she can join his or her spouse in the United States.