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Immigrant Visas under Family-based Categories

The United States government authorizes a certain number of immigrant visas under family-based categories. However, the number of petitions by citizens and permanent residents for their family members exceeds the number of authorised immigrant visas.

Under the provisions of the United States immigration laws, both categories of family-based visas, including immediate relatives and family preference categories, are authorized.

Our highly skilled family immigration attorneys in Miami, with their extensive knowledge and experience, specialize in handling the adjustment of status for immigrants who are in the United States and seek their green cards without having to return to their native countries. Our firm also oversees numerous cases involving consular processing of visas for applicants residing outside of the United States. These cases require an application at the U.S. consulate, which is appropriately and meticulously reviewed by the National Visa Center (NVC)

What is Family-based Immigration?

Adjustment of status is a straightforward process in which a person can apply for permanent residence status, also known as applying for a green card. This process is applicable when the person is physically present in the United States. With the help of our Family Immigration Attorneys in Hialeah, individuals can obtain a green card without having to return to their home country to complete the visa process. We guide you through each step, ensuring you understand the process and are prepared for what’s to come.

In addition, United States immigration laws allow a foreign national who is a family member of a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, to obtain a green card based on their family relationship. In this case, the spouses, minor children, or parents of a naturalised citizen or some green card holder can apply for the green card and become legal permanent residents.

These visa categories are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, known as an Immediate Relative, or IR. Our expert family visa attorneys in Hialeah will help you understand these categories. 

The number of people who fall into these categories is unlimited. The types of visas that fall under the IR category include the following:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-2: Unmarried Children Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen.
  • IR-4: Orphan who will be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • IR-5: A parent of a U.S. citizen. who is at least 21 years old


At One People Law, we recognize the significant role of family-based immigration in the United States. We understand the profound importance of reuniting families separated by borders. Our dedicated Family Visa Attorneys in Miami are proud to carry out this noble work and ensure that families can be together again.

Family-based Migration for Non-immediate Family Members

Although the number of immigration visas for immediate family members is unlimited, there are also limited visa categories for more distant family members.

These visa categories are for specific, less immediate family relationships with a U.S. citizen and particular lawful permanent residents. Unlike the categories mentioned above, there are limits on tax year preference for immigrants with family preference.

One People Law understands the prevailing need to help your family members obtain a better quality of life. That is why our Family Visa Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale explain which members of your family you can request a family-based immigration visa for, as well as the annual limit that exists to do so.

Family based immigration Services
  • First Preference Family (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, as well as other minor children. (23,400 per year)
  • Second Preference Family (F2): Spouses, minor children, and single adult sons and daughters (21 years or older) of Legal Permanent Residents. A large majority of the visas available for this category will go to spouses and minor children, while those remaining will be allocated to single older adult sons and daughters. (114,200 per year)
  • Third Preference Family (F3): Sons and daughters married to US citizens, as well as their spouses and minor children. (23,400 per year)
  • Fourth Preference Family (F4): Siblings of US citizens, as well as their spouses and minor children over 21 years of age. (65,000 per year)
Please note that grandparents, uncles, in-laws, and cousins ​​do not qualify as family members for immigration. Our team at Family Immigration Attorneys in Fort Lauderdale notes that if the number of qualified applicants for a category exceeds the number of visas available, they are in a waiting period. When this happens, immigrant visas will be issued in chronological order based on when the petitions were filed.

Family Based Migration Timeline

Suppose you are in the United States and belong to the category of immediate family members of U.S. citizens. You, with the help of our family immigration attorneys in Miami Gardens, need to file Form I-485. This is known as Application for Permanent Residence or Adjustment of Status. This gives you the opportunity to apply for a green card without leaving the country. You can file Form I-485:

  • Along with the Form I-130, or the Petition for Alien Relative that is filed on your behalf,
  • While Form I-130 is pending
  • After your Form I-130 is approved, as long as your application for Form I-130 has not been terminated or revoked.
  • These forms are filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. (USCIS). Immediate family visas are unlimited and immediately available. Your adjustment of the status process begins as soon as USCIS receives the I-130 petition. When the petition is approved, the green card will be available.

On the other hand, in the case of a family preference immigrant visa, Form I-130 is the first step, and it must be submitted to the USCIS office by a U.S. citizen. or a green card holder. This form must be submitted along with documentation demonstrating eligibility and qualification for having a family relationship. Turn to our qualified  Family Visa Attorneys in Miami Gardens to help you in the process. 

When USCIS receives the petition, the person will be notified. If the petition is approved, the sponsored alien will have to wait until the green card is available for their category. The date USCIS accepted your I-130 petition is called the priority date. It serves as your place in line because the number of visas available is limited

Petition for a Family Member with Family-based Immigration is Subject to Waiting Periods

Although the processing time for an I-485 application depends on the adjustment category, it can take anywhere from 6 to 12 months when dealing with immediate family members. The process can be expedited by filing both the I-130 and I-485 status applications at the same time.

However, suppose immediate family members are outside the United States. In that case, they must wait for the approval of their I-130s before applying for green cards through consular processing at the U.S. embassy or the consulate in your country.

After filing Form I-130, applicants in the family preference categories may take several years to obtain their green cards. However, the waiting times between each family preference may vary. For example, the highest priority is given to spouses and minor children (F2).

USCIS processes I-130 petitions by Priority Date. That’s why it’s crucial to have everything on the waiting list beforehand. Therefore, as soon as you contact a qualified family immigration attorney in Opa Locka, you will be able to begin your new life in the United States with your family as permanent residents promptly.

We help you Reunite with Your Family

At One People Law Firm, We Understand the Importance of Family. That is why we work within the limits of United States immigration law to meet these and other immigration goals for our clients.

Seeking permanent residency or attempting to adjust status within the U.S. can be confusing and complex. Our team of family visa attorneys in Opa Locka speaks both English and Spanish. They provide you with important information, help determine whether you meet the eligibility requirements, and make the entire process easier for you.

Reach out to us at (954) 727-5585 today. Our Orlando business visa attorneys are always available for you.

Our services are available in English, Haitian Creole, Spanish, and Portuguese.


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