Immigration to the United States is the dream of many people around the world, especially when it comes to family immigration. In this article, we cover all aspects of family immigration to the US, including visa types, immigrant requirements, and the application process.

Who can get a visa

First group

Immediate relatives of US citizens are the first group of immigrants for whom immigrant visas are issued without the limitation of annual immigration quotas. This group includes: the spouse of a US citizen (IR-1), a minor child of a US citizen (IR-2), an adopted orphan of a US citizen abroad (IR-3) or within the United States (IR-4), an adult parent US citizen (IR-5).

Second group

Immigration for families by preference category:

Category One (F1): Unmarried children and daughters of US citizens and their young children (including adopted children), if any. Quota 23,400 visas per year. Waiting period 1-5 years.

Second category (F2): Total quota 114.200 visas per year.

(F2A) Spouses and minor children of US permanent residents. 77% of the available visas for this category are for spouses and young children. 75% without country limits. Waiting period 1-2 years.

(F2B) Unmarried adult children of US permanent residents. Quota 23% of the total quota for category F2. Waiting period 3-7 years.

Third category (F3): Married children and daughters of US citizens, their spouses and minor children. Quota 23,400 visas per year. The waiting period is 7-12 years.

Fourth preference category (F4):

Brothers and sisters of US citizens, their spouses and minor children (under 21 years of age). Quota 65,000 visas per year. The waiting period is 7-13 years.

Thus, these four categories represent different priorities for family immigration to the US. Each of these determines the category of relatives who can apply for a visa and the number of visas available per year. The waiting time may vary depending on the category and number of applications, so it is recommended to check with the relevant departments for up-to-date information.

The period of reunification depends on the degree of kinship and the status of a relative living in the United States, and can take from 12 months to 13 years, if we are talking about countries with a low level of immigration to the United States.

US Fiancé/Fiance Visa

For a family reunion, a K1 fiance or fiancé visa may be suitable. For unmarried children of the bride/groom, a K-2 visa is available. Registration takes from 4 to 14 months. An I-129F petition must be filed. A prerequisite is the meeting of the bride and groom within 2 years before filing the petition. After entering the US, the visa holder must leave the country or marry within 90 days. Change of status for other reasons or marriage for the purpose of immigration is not allowed.

K-3/K-4 visas for spouses and children

These visas are issued to spouses of U.S. citizens (K-3 visa) and their unmarried or married children under 21 (K-4 visa) who accompany the K-3 visa holder.

Those who have been petitioned to immigrate family members (I-130) may qualify for this visa.

Registration takes 4-6 months and is carried out on Form I-129F. Visa holders can expect an immigrant visa to be approved in the United States. The visa can be used multiple times.

The visa is valid for 2 years and can be extended.

Reunification procedure

  1. Collection and preparation of the necessary documents in accordance with the instructions of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
  2. An American relative (petitioner) filing an immigration petition with or outside the US Immigration Service.
  3. Pending USCIS decision.
  4. Waiting in line for you if you fall into the restricted immigrant family category.
  5. Obtaining information about the assigned case number and instructions from the National Visa Center (NVC).
  6. Preparation of required documents and medical examination.
  7. Passing an interview at the US immigration service or at the consular / embassy office when obtaining an immigrant visa.

Who may not be allowed into the USA

  • People who have broken US laws in the past or in other countries.
  • People associated with terrorism or extremist activities.
  • People who have diseases that are dangerous to society, such as tuberculosis or COVID-19.
  • People who have mental illness.

Applying for U.S. family immigration can be a complex process, but with the right approach and preparation, you can successfully move with your family.