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What you need to know about preference immigrant visas

| Feb 25, 2021 | Family Immigration

If you are a green card holder or a citizen who wants to have your loved ones join you in the United States, then you may want to look into the “preference immigrant” visa process. It’s a prioritized pathway through which some of your relatives can become U.S. permanent residents.

Not everyone can take part in this program, however. Your loved one’s eligibility for this family visa is instead contingent upon their degree of relation to you as a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. 

Which family members have the highest priority status?

If you’re a U.S. citizen who has unmarried, adult children that are 21-years-old or over, then your loved ones fall within the highest priority category for the “preference immigrant” visa. 

The spouses and unmarried adult children under 21 years of age of lawful permanent residents qualify for the second tier priority status, known as the F2A visa. Any of the permanent resident’s unmarried children that are 21 years of age or older can apply for the second preference or F2B visa. 

Any U.S. citizen’s married children, regardless of their age, may qualify for a preference immigrant visa due to their third priority category status, and a U.S. citizen’s adult siblings are fourth on the priority list.

Are family preference visas right for everyone?

While many family members of U.S. citizens and permanent residents can qualify to come to this country by securing a preference immigrant visa, there’s no guarantee that immigration officials will award one to you.

You must familiarize yourself with the eligibility criteria before deciding to apply for this visa. A family immigration attorney here in Pittsburgh can help you determine if another visa is appropriate for your situation should the preference immigrant one prove not to be.