Immediate relatives: U.S. citizens can sponsor “immediate relatives.” Immediate relatives include spouses; parents of a citizen 21 years or older; unmarried children under the age of 21, and children adopted before turning 16.
There is no limit to the number of immediate relative visas approved yearly. The practical effect is that there is no waiting period other than the time required to process the visa application.
More distant relatives: Petitions for more distant relatives are subject to annual quotas. Preference categories determine when these family members need to wait to come to the United States.
K-1 Non-Immigrant Visa
Known as a fiancé visa, this visa is issued for those who intend to marry within 90 days of entering the U.S. with their fiancé(e). Due to previous abuses, the authorities often scrutinize this visa option.
It is important that you see a K1 visa lawyer before applying.
For most employment-based immigrants, a private employer sponsors them. The number of green cards available annually to immigrant employment eligibility in five employment-based categories is 140,000. High-skilled immigrants and investors do not require sponsorship.
Investors (and their spouses and unmarried children under 21) are eligible to apply for a green card if they:
Make the necessary investments in commercial businesses in the United States; and
Plan to create or preserve ten permanent full-time jobs for qualified U.S. workers in their labor force.
Naturalization is the legal process of a person taking on citizenship in a country other than the one of their birth.
A person can become a United States citizen in one of four ways:
- By being born in the United States
- By being born to U.S. citizen parents
- By being naturalized (which usually involves specific residency requirements and passing a citizenship test)
- Being a minor and having one or more of your parents become naturalized citizens.