Jamal Jbara

Attorney at Law, P.C.
Family Based Immigration
 If you are a U.S. Citizen you can petition for the following relatives:

-Husband or wife
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Mother or father if you are at least 21 years of age
- Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21
- Married son or daughter of any age
- Brothers and sisters if you are at least 21 years of age

If you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) you can petition for the following relatives:

- Husband or wife
- Unmarried child under the age of 21
- Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21

Permanent residents cannot sponsor parents, married sons or daughters, or brothers/sisters for a Green Card.
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There are two categories of family based immigrant visas:

Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens
&
Preference Categories
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Immediate relatives of U.S. Citizens
This category has an unlimited number of visas immediately available for the qualifying relatives, meaning that you do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available. The qualifying relatives are:

- Husband or wife
- Unmarried children under the age of 21
- Mother or father if U.S. Citizen is at least 21 years old
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Preference Categories

There are 4 categories that qualifying relatives are split into, and this determines the the order of preference in which available visas are allotted. The higher the preference, the shorter the wait. Each category has an annual quota that cannot be surpassed. The categories are as follows:

Family First Preference (F1)
This category is for the unmarried adult sons or daughters (21 years or older) of U.S. Citizens.

These relatives do not qualify for the immediate relative category because they have reached 21 years of age. The quota for this category is 23,400 visas a year, plus any unused visas in the F4 category.

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Family Second Preference (F2)

This category is for the following relatives of lawful permanent residents:
- Husband or wife
- Unmarried children (under the age of 21)
- Unmarried sons and daughters (over the age of 21)

If unmarried sons or daughters get married before they become lawful permanent residents, they will no longer qualify and their petition will be considered invalid. The quota for this category is 114,200 visas a year, plus any unused visas in the F1 category. 77% of the available visas for this category will go to spouses and unmarried children; the remaining 23% will go to unmarried sons and daughters.

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Family Third Preference (F3)
This category is for the married sons and daughters (any age) of U.S. Citizens

The quota for this category is 23,400 visas a year, plus any unused visas in the F1 and F2 categories.

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Family Fourth Preference (F4)
This category is for the brothers or sisters of U.S. Citizens.
 
The quota for this category is 65,000 visas a year.

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If you believe that you meet the criteria for family based immigration, call us now at (718) 361-7984 to schedule your consultation.
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