Family Based Green Cards

Immigrant Family-Based First, Second, Third and Fourth Preferences
F-1, 2, 3 and 4 Visas


Family Based visas are granted to individuals who have an immediate family member that is either a United States citizen or a green card holder. Immediate family members include Husbands and Wives of United States citizens, children of United States citizens under the age of 21, and parents of a United States citizen who is over 21. The requirements of the immigration petition vary depending on the given relation and there are four preferences.

  • First preference (F-1)
    is granted to unmarried sons or daughters of United States citizens;
  • Second preference A (F-2A)
    is granted to spouses and minor children of permanent residents;
  • Second preference B (F-2B)
    is granted to for unmarried children of permanent residents;
  • Third preference (F-3)
    is granted to for married children of United States citizens; and
  • Fourth preference (F-4)
    is granted to for siblings of United States citizens.

Processing times will vary depending on the category of the petition. Furthermore, requirements may differ slightly depending on the category of the petition.

For this type of visa, the U.S. Citizen or green card holder acts as the sponsor for their alien relative, the Beneficiary / Applicant

Requirements and/or Materials:

USCIS will require a number of documents to begin the process, these documents should include:

  • Evidence that the family member sponsoring the alien relative is, in fact, a U.S. citizen or green card holder and has a valid, current United States Address;
  • Evidence that the United States citizen or permanent resident can support the applicant financially;
  • Evidence of a qualifying relationship between the applicant and U.S. citizen or green card holder;
  • Evidence that the applicant is in good moral standing with both the United States and his or her country of residence.

The Permanent Residence card, itself, expires after 10 years and must be renewed before the expiration date. However, the status of a Permanent Resident does not expire.

Depending on the category under which the petition is filed, a conditional permanent resident card is granted, meaning the card expires after 2 years and the green card holder must apply to have the conditions of their status removed by USCIS. After which, their permanent resident card will be valid for 10-year periods.

Family Members

Spouses and children under 21 are derivative beneficiaries of an approved I-140 petition.


Family Based Green Cards are processed directly with USCIS. I-140’s are subject to priority dates. After the approval of the I-140 petition, the applicant can chose whether to adjust their status within the US or to conduct consular processing overseas.

Fiancée / Spouse Visas

U.S. citizens are allowed to bring their foreign fiancées to the United States in order to get married. To accomplish this, the U.S. citizen files to obtain a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for his or her fiancée.

In order to obtain a K-1 visa, you and your fiancée must intend to marry each other within 90 days of the foreign fiancée entering the country. Following the marriage, the foreign fiancée may apply for lawful permanent resident status in the United States.

You and your fiancé must have met each other once before in the prior two years before the petition was filed, unless you qualify for a religious or cultural exemption.

After being admitted to the United States, a K-1 visa holder may immediately apply for work authorization.

If the fiancée has an unmarried child under the age of 21, the child may be eligible for a K-2 nonimmigrant visa. A K-2 visa holder may apply for a green card.

Remember that each case is unique. To find out whether you qualify for this visa, please contact our immigration attorneys directly and set up an appointment.


Tel: 646.820.0662
Fax: 888.820.3250


1350 Avenue of the Americas 3rd Floor,
New York NY 10019

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