Immediate Relative (IR) Immigrant Visa Petitions are for particular immediate relatives as USCIS classifies them. IR Visas are unique in several ways. IR Visas are not subject to numerical limitations so they are available immediately after they are approved, there is no waiting in line. IR Visas are also unique in that unlawful presence in the US does not bar adjustment of status based on an IR Visa, so long as the beneficiary has a legal entry. 

  • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen 

  • IR-2: Unmarried Child of US Citizen Under 21 Years old

  • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen 

  • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen 

  • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old

Family Preference Immigrant Visas are subject to numerical limitations. Only a certain number of these visas are issued every year to each particular country. This means that depending on the preference category of the visa the beneficiary will have to wait for their priority date to be current. Every Family Preference Immigrant Visa is assigned a Priority Date, which is based on the date it was filed. The date that the priority date is current is the date the visa is available for use to get Legal Permanent Resident Status (a green card). 

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

  • Family Second Preference (F2A): Spouses, minor children, of LPRs. At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children;  (114,200)

  • Family Second Preference (F2B): Unmarried Sons and Daughter (21 years of age or older) of permanent residents; (23% of above)

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

  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (65,000)


You will note that a Parmenent Resident Parent cannot petition for a married son or daughter over the age of 21. 


You should further note that Aunts, Uncles, Grandparents, and Cousins are not family relationships eligible to for Immigrant Petitions.


Example Visa Bulletin

Every month the United States Government will release a Visa Bulletin on the USCIS Website.  When the date listed for your category and country is the same as or later than your priority date on your visa then your priority date is current. 


This is an example of a visa bulletin: