The Immigration & Nationality Act allows foreign nationals to permanently immigrate to the U.S. for the purpose of family unity. The relationships that can serve as a sponsor are limited to the following:
The spouse, mother, father, or children under 21 years of age of a United States citizen qualify for permanent residence.
Family First Preference
The unmarried sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of a United States citizen qualify for permanent residence, subject to quota waiting periods.
Family Second Preference
The spouse and unmarried children under 21 years of age are classified under the Family 2A preference. Unmarried sons and daughters over 21 years of age are classified under the Family 2B preference. Both Family 2A and Family 2B applicants may qualify for permanent residence subject to quota waiting periods.
Family Third Preference
The married sons and daughters (over 21 years of age) of United States citizens may qualify for permanent residence, subject to quota waiting periods.
Family Fourth Preference
The brothers and sisters of Untied States citizens may qualify for permanent residence subject to extensive quota waiting periods.
Spouses who receive their residence based upon a marriage of less than two years in duration must serve a period of “conditional residence” for two years prior to becoming permanent residents. At the conclusion of that conditional residence, the applicant and the spouse must file a new joint petition to remove conditional status.
Spouses whose marriages terminate during the two year “conditional residence” must seek a waiver from the Immigration & Naturalization Service in order to obtain permanent residence.
Adopted children may be sponsored provided the adoption occurred prior to the child’s sixteenth birthday. Adopted children must be in the legal and physical custody of the adopted parents for two years prior to immigration to the United States.
Orphaned children may be adopted prior to their sixteenth birthday and there is no requirement for two years of legal and physical custody prior to immigration to the United States.
Step children may be sponsored, providing the marriage that created the step child relationship occurred prior to the stepchild’s eighteenth birthday.
Illegitimate children may always be sponsored by their mothers, and by their fathers in those cases where the father can demonstrate a father-child relationship was created and supported prior to the child’s eighteenth birthday.
For a private consultation, contact Haynes Immigration Law, P.C. Call 210-222-VISA (8472) or email Jon M. Haynes directly at: .↑ back to top