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Who Can Be Sponsored for a Family Visa

Citizens and lawful permanent residents of the United States have the ability to sponsor one of their relatives to obtain a visa. We understand how confusing the process of gaining a visa can be, that’s why our team outlines everything you need to know about sponsoring one of your family members below.

Who is Eligible for Sponsorship

Not just anyone is able to sponsor their family member for a green card. Only U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (those already holding a green card) have the capability of sponsoring a relative.
United States citizens can petition to sponsor anyone in their immediate family. This includes their:

  • Spouse
  • Children under the age of 21
  • Parents, if the sponsor is age 21 or older
  • Siblings

While Lawful Permanent Residents live in the U.S. full time, they are only able to file a sponsorship petition for their spouse or unmarried child.

The preference system categorizes family members who fall outside the classes of those eligible to apply for a green card. These preferences are a method of distributing the limited number of these visas that are available each year There are five preferences:

  • First preference (F1): reserved for unmarried children, over the age of 21, of U.S. citizens
  • Second preference (F2A): reserved for spouses and children, unmarried and under the age of 21, of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Second preference (F2B): reserved for unmarried children, over the age of 21, of Lawful Permanent Residents
  • Third preference (F3): reserved for married children of U.S. citizens
  • Fourth preference (F4): reserved for siblings of U.S. citizens, over the age of 21

Are Green Cards Limited?

There are two main types of visas available to U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents:

  • Immediate family visas - are reserved for close relatives of U.S. citizens, and these visas are not limited to a certain number per year.
  • Family preference visas - are available for more distant relatives of U.S.citizens and certain specified relatives of Lawful Permanent Residents. These visas are limited to a certain number, and the amount given cannot exceed a total of 480,000 each fiscal year.

How We Can Help

From the application process to finally entering the country, we know firsthand how difficult obtaining a visa can be. Because of this, we offer a compassionate and personalized approach for every client to help them achieve their goals in an efficient and cost-effective manner.

If you would like to learn more about how to sponsor your family member for a visa, don’t hesitate to contact us today through our online contact form, or give us a call at (703) 546-9300 today!