The federal Immigration and Nationality Act dictates family-based immigration, allowing an unlimited number of visas for immediate relatives but setting limits on visas granted to other family members.

Under the law, immediate relatives include:

  • A citizen’s spouse
  • A citizen’s unmarried child who is under 21 years old
  • Certain adopted children
  • Parents of a citizen who is older than 21 years old.
  • Family-preference immigrants face numerical limits. These limits are set each fiscal year.

The family-preference immigrants include, in order of preference:

  1. Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children, capped at 23,400 visas in 2012
  2. Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters 21 years and older of legal permanent residents, capped at 114,200 in 2012. At least 75 percent goes to spouses and children. The rest goes to unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent residents.
  3. Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children, capped at 23,400 in 2012
  4. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, if the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years old, capped at 65,000 visas in 2012.

Attorneys Grace Kennedy can provide expert legal counsel and representation in all family sponsored immigration matters. The firm also has extensive experience assisting clients with the K-1 Fiancée visas, adjustment of status to permanent residence, and consular processing of immigrant visas. To arrange a professional consultation, contact the firm at 770-303-8212.