Family Based Petitions
A foreign citizen seeking to live permanently in the United States requires an immigrant visa (IV). To be eligible to apply for an IV, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by an immediate relative who is at least 21 years of age and is either a U.S. citizen or U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (that is, a green-card holder).
This section of the website explains how you may petition for relatives (or future relatives such as a fiancé(e) or a prospective adopted child) to immigrate to the United States.
How Can I Help a Family Member Immigrate?
Your status determines which relatives (or future relatives) may be eligible to receive immigration benefits. In order to help a family member immigrate, you must be a:
- U.S. citizen
- Green Card holder (permanent resident)
- Refugee admitted as a refugee within the past 2 years or asylee granted asylum within the past 2 years
If you or a member of your family is in the U.S. military, see the Military section on www.uscis.gov.
these visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen, such as a spouse, child or parent. The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited each fiscal year.
these visas are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). The number of immigrants in these categories is limited each fiscal year.
Keep in mind that U.S. citizens can file an immigrant visa petition for their:
• Son or daughter
• Brother or sister
U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents can only file an immigrant visa petition for their:
• Unmarried son or daughter