Under the U.S. immigration law, there are
two basic categories of family-based immigration:
(1) Immediate Relatives of U.S. citizens
(spouses, parents and unmarried children
under 21); and (2) Preference Relatives
(U.S. citizens’ unmarried sons and
daughters over 21; U.S. citizens’
married sons and daughters; U.S. citizens’
brothers and sisters; and spouses and unmarried
sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents).
The applicants under the Immediate Relatives
category are not subject to annual numerical
limitation on immigrant visas, i.e. no waiting
for the immigrant visa availability is necessary.
However, the applicants under the Preference
Relatives are subject to annual numerical
limitation on immigrant visas, and for certain
preference, it may take years for the immigrant
visa to become available.
You may obtain family-based permanent residency
in the United States through either of the
categories as indicated in the right column.