U.S. immigration law promotes family unity by allowing certain foreign nationals to join their U.S. citizen spouse, parent or child without having to wait for an immigrant visa number to become available. These individuals must demonstrate the following relationship to their U.S. citizen relative:
- Spouses to a U.S. citizen;
- Unmarried children under age 21 of a U.S. citizen; and/or
- Parent(s) to an U.S. citizen child over age 21.
F1 Visa- Family Based First Preference
Family-based immigrant visas may receive a first preference category (F1) if the foreign relative is an unmarried son or daughter, over age 21, to a U.S. citizen parent. To be eligible for an F1 visa, foreign students must possess all of the following:
- An offer of study from an approved educational institution in America
- Intent to travel to America for the purpose of enrollment in a full course of study (as certified by the academic institution in postgraduate or postdoctoral level study or at least 12 semester hours on the university level or equivalent)
- A valid passport
- Ability to prove they have sufficient funds to pay for tuition and costs for the duration of the program, although in certain circumstances the student may be given permission to work
- Fluency in English or enrolled in an immersion course or other course that will lead to proficiency
- Intent to return to their country of abode after expiration of the visa
Additional Family Preference Immigrant Visas
F2A – Family Second Preference: A spouse or an unmarried child under age 21 of an LPR, or
F2B – Family Second Preference: An unmarried child over age 21 of an LPR.
F3 – Family Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
F4 – Family Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.
Note: Grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws, and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration.
Please contact our office if you require assistance with this preference category.