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How many types of family visas are there?

| Aug 26, 2019 | Firm News

As a legal immigrant to this country currently living in Florida, you likely have family members in your native country who you would like to help come to the U.S., too. You will, therefore, be glad to learn that you can choose from a large number of visas to help you accomplish your and their goal.

Keep in mind that, according to the U.S. Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs, these visas exist in two categories: Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas and Family Preference Immigrant Visas.

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas

As their name implies, IRMVs apply to your immediate family members and include the following visas:

  • IR-1 visa for your spouse
  • IR-2 visa for your unmarried child(ren) under 21 years of age
  • IR-3 visa for any orphan you adopted abroad
  • IR-4 visa for any orphan you intend to adopt once (s)he comes to the United States
  • IR-5 visa for your parent(s)

No limit applies to the number or type of immediate relatives you can bring into the U.S. during any fiscal year. The only downside to all of the above visas is that your relative can only obtain one if you yourself have already become a U.S. citizen.

Family Preference Immigrant Visas

The other category of visas applies to your more distant relatives and includes the following visas:

  • F1 visa (Family First Preference) for your unmarried children and their unmarried children if you are a U.S. citizen
  • F2 visa (Family Second Preference) for your spouse and children, either minor or unmarried, if you are a Lawful Permanent Resident
  • F3 visa (Family Third Preference) for your married children and their children if you are a U.S. citizen
  • F4 visa (Family Fourth Preference) for your siblings and their spouses and minor children if you are a U.S. citizen

Unfortunately, the U.S. limits the number of FPI visas it issues each fiscal year. This could result in your relative having to wait a long time, several years in fact, before they can receive their visa. You should also be aware that you cannot apply for an FPI visa if you are the grandparent, aunt, uncle, cousin or in-law of the person you wish to sponsor.

This is general educational information and not intended to provide legal advice.

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