automatically create resident status in the United States. The United undergo an interview by the United
However, less immediate ties than a spouse or parent of a United States citizen require that a person
apply for his or her visa through a series of categories which may or may not be current at the time the
person’s application is approved. A United States citizen must be at least 21 years of age in order to
immigrate a relative.
There are four basic categories of family preference:
1.Adult sons and daughters of United States citizens
2.Spouses and adult sons and daughters of lawful permanent residents or Green Card holders
3.Married children of United States citizens
4.Brothers and sisters of United States citizens
A U.S. citizen can file the petition on behalf of his/her:
1.Husband, wife, or child under the age of 21
2.An unmarried child over the age of 21
3.Married child of any age
4.Brother or sister if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old
5.A parent if the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years
Under INA 201(b) the U.S. Citizen’s spouse, parent or child (under 21) is considered an Immediate
Relative, and as such NO preference quota is required. Furthermore, even under the tough new
adjustment laws, a United States Citizen may petition for his or her Immediate Relative even if that
relative has fallen out of status. The immediate relative must have entered the United States legally
A lawful permanent resident can file the petition on behalf of his/her:
1. Husband or wife
2. Unmarried child
To be eligible to file a self-petition (an application that you file for yourself for immigration benefits) you
must qualify under one of the following categories:
* Spouse: You may self-petition if you are a battered spouse married to a U.S. citizen or lawful
permanent resident. Unmarried children under the age of 21, who have not filed their own self-petition,
may be included on your petition as derivative beneficiaries.
* Parent: You may self-petition if you are the parent of a child who has been abused by your U.S. citizen
or lawful permanent resident spouse. Your children (under 21 years of age and unmarried), including
those who may not have been abused, may be included on your petition as derivative beneficiaries, if
they have not filed their own self-petition.
* Child: You may self-petition if you are a battered child (under 21 years of age and unmarried) who has
been abused by your U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident parent.
K-1 Fiancé Visa
The Fiancé (e) Visa allows a US Citizens only (not Legal Permanent Residents) to apply for permission
with a U.S Consulate abroad to allow his or her Fiancé (e) to enter the U.S with a Fiancé(e) visa. The
U.S Consulate abroad will only review this application after there has been an approved petition by the
USCIS which must be applied inside the United States by the US Citizen on behalf of his or her fiancé(e).
The marriage must take place within 90 days of the fiancé(e) entering the United States. If the marriage
does not take place within 90 days or the fiancé(e) marries someone other than the U.S. citizen filing
USCIS Petition for Alien Fiancé, the fiancé(e) will be required to leave the United States. Until the
marriage takes place, the fiancé(e) is considered a nonimmigrant. A nonimmigrant is a foreign national
seeking to temporarily enter the United States for a specific purpose. A fiancé(e) may not obtain an
extension of the 90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
If the fiancé(e) intends to live and work permanently in the United States, the fiancé(e) should apply to
become a permanent resident after the marriage. (If the fiancé(e) does not intend to become a
permanent resident after the marriage, the fiancé(e)/new spouse must leave the country within the
90-day original nonimmigrant admission.
The fiancé(e) may enter the United States only one time with a fiancé(e) visa. If the fiancé(e) leaves the
country before married, the fiancé(e) may not be allowed back into the United States without a new visa.