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Family Based Green Cards
K1 & F1 Visa Support

Immigrant Family-Based First, Second, Third, and Fourth Preferences

F1 Visa, F2 Visa, F3 Visa, and F4 Visa


People who have immediate family members who are either US citizens or holders of green cards are eligible for family-based visas. Husbands and wives of American citizens, children of Americans under the age of 21, and parents of American citizens above the age of 21 are considered immediate family members. There are four options and different immigration petition criteria based on the relationship.
  • First preference (F1 Visa) is given to the unmarried children of American citizens;
  • Second preference A (F2A Visa) spouses and young children of permanent residents are eligible;
  • Second preference B (F2B Visa) is given to unmarried offspring of citizens with permanent residences;
  • Third preference (F3 Visa) is given to married offspring of citizens of the United States; and
  • Fourth preference (F4 Visa) is given to siblings who are American citizens.

Depending on what category the petition falls under, processing timelines will change.

Furthermore, depending on the type of petition, criteria could change slightly.

To obtain this form of visa, the beneficiary or applicant must be a U.S. citizen or holder of a green card.

Requirements and/or Materials for Family Based Green Cards:

    • family happy about getting green cardTo start the procedure, USCIS will need a variety of papers. These documents should include:
    • Evidence that the family member supporting the foreign relative is, in fact, a citizen of the United States or holds a green card and has a registered, active address within the United States;
    • Evidence that the US citizen or lawful permanent resident can financially support the application;
    • Evidence of a legal connection between the applicant and a citizen or holder of a green card in the United States;
    • Evidence demonstrating the applicant’s moral standing in both the United States and the nation in which they currently live.


The Permanent Residence card itself must be renewed before its 10-year expiration date. The status of a Permanent Resident, however, is indefinite.
A conditional permanent resident card may be issued, indicating that it expires after two years and the bearer of a green card must apply to USCIS to have the restrictions on their status lifted. This depends on the category under which the petition was submitted. Their permanent residence card will thereafter be valid for another ten years.

Family Members

An authorized I-140 petition’s derivative beneficiaries include spouses and children under the age of 21.


Direct processing of Family-Based Green Cards is handled by USCIS. Priority dates apply to I-140 forms. After the I-140 petition is approved, the petitioner has the option of changing their status domestically or by undergoing consular procedures abroad.

Visas for fiancée or spouse

To get married, U.S. citizens are permitted to bring their overseas fiancées to the country. To do this, the American citizen applies for the fiancée’s K1 nonimmigrant visa.

You and your fiancée must intend to wed within 90 days of the foreign fiancée entering the country to qualify for a K1 visa. The foreign fiancée is eligible to seek legal permanent residence status in the US after the wedding.

Unless you are eligible for a religious or cultural exemption, you and your fiancé must have met once in the two years before the petition was submitted.

A K1 visa holder may immediately apply for work authorization after being admitted to the country.

Unmarried children under the age of 21 who belong to the fiancée may qualify for a K2 nonimmigrant visa. A K2 visa holder may submit a green card application.

Keep in mind that every instance is different. Please make an appointment with one of our immigration lawyers to determine if you are eligible for this visa — fill out the Book an Appointment form.

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