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"Immediate Relatives" of a U.S. Citizen
"Immediate Relatives" refers to the parents, spouses and children (who are unmarried and under 21 years of age) of a U.S. citizen. Immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen can immigrate to the United States without being subject to any numerical restrictions, unlike other close family members of U.S. citizens and/or permanent residents. Namely, they can apply for the permanent resident status without having to deal with any waiting time. Other close family members of U.S. citizens or permanent residents are divided into several groups called "Preferences". Each Preference is given a numerical quota per year to limit the number of immigrants admitted into the United States. For more detailed information on immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, please click on the following links:
Other Close Family Members of a U.S. Citizen
Other close family members of a U.S. citizen can qualify to immigrate to the United States, but unlike the immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, they are subject to a numerical limit of immigrant visas available to them each year. Close family members are divided into several groups called "Preferences". The higher the Preference, the quicker the alien will be eligible to receive a green card. For detailed information on other close family members of a U.S. citizen, please click on the following links:
Family Members of Permanent Residents
Spouses and unmarried children of a permanent resident can also apply for a green card. They are categorized as the “Second Preference” group of people who are eligible for immigration to the United States. For detailed information on spouses and/or children of permanent residents, please click on the following link:
For more information about Family-Based Immigration, please click the following topics: