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Bringing your loved ones to America

Family comes first in our lives, and if you have family members who live in another country, you may wish to bring them to the United States.

Two groups of immigrant visas are available to help you do just that. There is also a visa that applies if you are engaged to a foreign national and want to bring your fiancé to America.

Visas for close family members

If you are a U.S. citizen, the Immigration and Nationality Act, or INA, provides for unlimited visas to bring your immediate relatives to the United States:

  • IR-1: Your spouse
  • R-2: Your unmarried child under the age of 21
  • IR-3: An orphan you adopted abroad
  • IR-4: An orphan you plan to adopt in the U.S.
  • IR-5: Your parent, as long as you are at least 21 years of age

Family preference visas

There is a limit to Family Preference Immigrant Visas, meaning that once the annual limit is reached, a waiting period will commence. The categories range from FI or Family First Preference, to F4 or Family Fourth Preference. Except for category F3, visa petitions are available for initiation by U.S. citizens.

  • F1: Your unmarried sons or daughters and their minor children
  • F2: Spouses, minor children and unmarried sons and daughters of Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States, or LPRs
  • F3: Your married sons and daughters and their spouses and minor children
  • F4: Your siblings and their spouses and minor children

When an immigration waiting period occurs, the government will issue available visas in chronological order based on priority date, which is the date the petition was filed.

Visas for your fiancé

If you plan to marry a foreign national and wish to bring your fiancé to the United States, he or she will need a K1 visa. Once the marriage takes place, you can seek assistance in obtaining a spouse visa so that your loved one can achieve permanent resident status.

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