I-130 Petition for Alien Relative

An I-130 is a petition to sponsor an alien relative for an immigrant visa. A spouse, parent, or child (under 21 years of age and unmarried) of a U.S. citizen is considered an “immediate relative.” Immediate relatives are not subject to a quota wait and may be granted an immigrant visa upon approval of an I-130 petition. All other family sponsored categories fall into “preference” classifications and must wait until a visa number is available before they can apply for an immigrant visa or adjustment of status to a lawful permanent resident. The family-sponsored preference classifications are as follows:

  •  First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  •  Second: Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents

A. (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents

B. (F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents

  •  Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
  •  Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens

A “priority date” (i.e. the date that an immigrant visa becomes available) is assigned to each of the above family preference categories. The Department of State issues a monthly Visa Bulletin with the current priority dates at: http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/law-and- policy/bulletin.html.

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