Other Family Based

Family Based Green Card Details

A US citizen or permanent resident may sponsor their family members for permanent residency and/or US citizenship. For immediate relatives of US citizens (spouses, parents and unmarried children under age of 21), the process is streamlined and all the paperwork can be filed at the same time. All others must undertake a three stage process:

  • The petitioner must file an immigrant petition for his or her relative;

  • The beneficiary must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available; and

  • If the relative may apply then apply for permanent residency and obtain a green card.

The filing of an immigrant petition does not give the beneficiary legal status. If the beneficiary wishes to wait for an immigrant visa number in the US, he or she must obtain a nonimmigrant family visa or work visa. Otherwise, the beneficiary must wait outside of the US.

For whom is a Family Based Green appropriate?

US citizens may sponsor:

  • A husband or wife;

  • An unmarried child under 21;

  • An unmarried son or daughter over 21;

  • A married son or daughter of any age; or

  • A parent, if the petitioner is 21 or older.

US permanent residents may sponsor:

  • A husband or wife; or

  • An unmarried son or daughter of any age.

What are the requirements for obtaining a Family Based Green?

The Immigration and Nationality Act allows for the immigration of foreigners to the United States based on relationship to a US citizen or legal permanent resident. Family based immigration falls under two basic categories: unlimited and limited.

Immediate Relatives of US Citizens (IR): The spouse, widow(er) and unmarried children under 21 of a US citizen, and the parent of a US citizen who is 21 or older. (Unlimited)

Returning Residents (SB): Immigrants who lived in the United States previously as lawful permanent residents and are returning to live in the US after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad. (Unlimited)

Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens, and their children, if any. (23,400)

Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (114,200) At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.

Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of US citizens, and their spouses and children. (23,400)

Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the US citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)

The immigration laws of the United States, in order to protect the health, welfare, and security of the United States, prohibit the issuance of a visa to certain applicants. Examples of applicants who must be refused visas are those who: have a communicable disease such as tuberculosis, have a dangerous physical or mental disorder, or are drug addicts; have committed serious criminal acts; are terrorists, subversives, members of a totalitarian party, or former Nazi war criminals; have used illegal means to enter the United States; or are ineligible for citizenship.


Behar international counsel provides a full-range of immigration legal assistance to our clients. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.
avvo review immigratingtousa
Giacomo J. Behar
avvo review immigratingtousa
Mr Behar is a brilliant immigration attorney. He was very accommodating in scheduling my husband and I for a urgent consultation. He gave us honest and direct advice on what options we have, as well as the pros/cons of the path forward. He is a creative thinker and clearly has an in-depth knowledge of not only US immigration but international affairs as well.
Thank you Giacomo.
avvo review immigratingtousa
Professionalism, expertise and genuine concern for my case
I had a very useful consultation with Mr Behar on my case. Mr Behar thoroughly understood the intricacies of my situation and outlined every step of the legal process with clarity and transparency. His ability to break down complex legal concepts into understandable terms is truly remarkable.
avvo review immigratingtousa
Mr. Behar and his team took great effort to understand my case thoroughly and produced a strategy that worked efficiently in resulting in the positive outcome.
Will definitely come back to him for my future immigration needs.
avvo review immigratingtousa
Highly informative, well knowledged and helpful. Highly recommend
I needed assistance ASAP regarding my J-2 work authorization request. I called Giacomo on Saturday and we setup a call for the same day! Giacomo Is highly skilled and it very much shows that he is VERY knowledgeable about the all immigration process.
Read more reviews
Tatyana Ewards
avvo review immigratingtousa Tatyana Ewards
The Best Immigration Lawyer
Tatyana and her team of professionals are exceptional. She handled my case expertly and I highly recommend her services. Working with her was a great decision, resulting in time and money saved. My experience with her was wonderful due to her prompt communication and readiness to answer any questions.
avvo review immigratingtousa Tatyana Ewards
Best Asylum Lawyer
I highly recommend Tatyana Edwards, she did a great job with my asylum case. My case had been pending for almost 8 years since 2015 . She took a look at my case, and managed to place it on on the standby list not on the waiting list which would have taken longer. Last month, I had an interview notice, did my interview, picked up my decision ( granted).
avvo review immigratingtousa Tatyana Ewards
It's nice to deal with professionals
My friends who also had a positive experience working with Tatiana Edwards recommended this lawyer to me. My case was very complicated, the trials lasted for several years and the judge extended the hearings because of the large amount of information and documents.
Yury N
avvo review immigratingtousa Tatyana Ewards
Bravo! Bis!
Professionalism, intelligence and precision! Necessary benevolence and human kindness! May you be lucky to find a protector, like-minded person and ally in Tatyana's face!
Read more reviews
© Behar International Counsel U.S. Immigration Law Advocates 2024