Understanding Family-Based Preference Categories

Understanding Family-Based Preference Categories

Date: Dec 16, 2022
In: Citizenship

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Understanding Family-Based Preference Categories

U.S. immigration is notoriously complex, but the outcome can be life-altering – providing families with abundant opportunities that they may not have otherwise ever experienced. The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees immigration law that allows specific noncitizens with family members who are either lawful permanent residents – which means they have been issued Green Cards – or citizens of this country to become lawful permanent residents themselves, obtaining their own Green Cards and the right to work in the United States. 

If you have an immigration concern related to family-based preference categories, you need professional legal guidance and should not wait to reach out to an experienced California immigration attorney. 

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

If you are the immediate relative of someone who is a U.S. citizen, obtaining lawful permanent resident status is generally quicker, but not guaranteed. To qualify as an immediate relative, one of the following must pertain:

  • You are the spouse of a U.S. citizen.
  • You are an unmarried child – who is not yet 21 years old – of a U.S. citizen. 
  • You are the parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old. 

If you are outside of this immediate-relative classification, however, you may qualify in another family-based preference group. 

Family-Based Preference Groups

Additional preference groups for immigration status that affords eligibility to apply for Green Card status include the following:

  • First preference group (F1) – You are the unmarried daughter or son of a U.S. citizen and are at least 21 years old.  
  • Second preference group (F2) – You are the spouse or child (who has not yet reached the age of 21) of a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Second preference group (F2B) – You are the unmarried daughter or son, who is at least 21 years old, of a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • Third preference group (F3) – You are the married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen. 
  • Fourth preference group (F4) – You are the sister or brother of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old.  

While the preference groups are exacting and the process is challenging, obtaining lawful permanent resident status affords the kind of opportunities that makes it well worth the effort. 

Discuss Your Options with an Experienced California Immigration Attorney Today

If your goal is to obtain a Green Card, you recognize the challenges ahead, but if you have a close family member who is already a citizen or who has lawful permanent resident status, it can help your chances immensely. The California immigration attorneys at Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, understand how critical the issue of immigration is to you and have the keen legal insight and experience to help skillfully guide your case toward its optimal outcome. 

We are on your side and here to help, so please do not put off reaching out and contacting us for more information about what we can do for you today.

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