Family-Based Visa

Promoting family unity is the over-arching Congressional intent expressed throughout U.S. immigration laws. This intention can be seen from the prevalence of the family-based visa programs.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) classifies visas as either immigrant or nonimmigrant. Immigrant visas are issued to persons seeking to live permanently in the United States while nonimmigrant visas are issued to persons with permanent residences abroad, but who seek to be in the United States on a temporary basis for some prescribed purpose under 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(15).

The INA allows spouses of persons with immigrant visas to accompany or to follow their spouse  as provided in 8 U.S.C. § 1101(a)(27)(c) and 1153(d).

Attorney for the Family Based Visa in The Woodlands, TX

Personal experience with the immigration process provides attorney Luis F. Hess with insight that most other lawyers do not possess. As a first generation, U.S. American, Luis F. Hess is specially situated to guide other individuals through every stage of immigration. Having an attorney who can speak multiple languages, including Spanish and Mandarin Chinese, becomes invaluable when preparing complex immigration forms.

If you need help filing for a visa in The Woodlands or Shenandoah, Texas, based on a family reunification category, then contact an experienced immigration attorney. Luis F. Hess, PLLC is located in Montgomery County, Texas. The firm accepts cases throughout North Harris County as well. Luis F. Hess represents clients in Spring, Shenandoah, Conroe, The Woodlands, and many other nearby communities in the greater Houston area.

Whether you are calling about a fiancé visa, an alien relative visa, or a spousal visa, let Luis F. Hess put his considerable experience to work for you. Luis F. Hess is also experienced with employment-based visa issues. 

Call (281) 205-8540 to discuss your case.


Back to top

Types of Family-Based Non-Immigrant Visa Categories

Under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA), the two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories include:

  • Immediate relatives; and
  • Family preference categories. 

Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas (Unlimited)

These visa types are based on a close family relationship with a United States (U.S.) citizen described as an Immediate Relative (IR). Unlike for preference categories, the number of visas available for immediate relatives is not limited each fiscal year. Immediate relatives include:

  • Spouse of a U.S. citizen
  • Unmarried child under 21 years of age of a U.S. citizen
  • Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
  • Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
  • Parent of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old

Back to top

Family Preference Immigrant Visas (Limited)

These visa types are for specific, more distant, family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a lawful permanent resident (LPR). Cousins, in-laws, uncles, aunts, and grandparents are not permitted to sponsor a relative for immigration purposes.

The numerical limitations on family preference immigrants for each fiscal year are shown below for each family preference categories as follows:

  • Limitation of 23,400 for First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any.
  • Limitation of 114,200 for Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs. (At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder is allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
  • Limitation of 23,400 for Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
  • Limitation of 65,000 for 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.

This article was last updated on Friday, December 22, 2017. 

What Our Clients Say