Immediate Relative or Family Preference: Which visa can your family members obtain more easily?

On Behalf of | Jul 6, 2022 | Immigration |

As a legal immigrant to the U.S., you probably want to bring your family members here, too. This, of course, requires that they obtain visas in order to legally enter this country.

The question then becomes: Which type of family visa can they more easily obtain?

Immediate Relative Visas

The U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Consular Affairs, advises that Immediate Relative visas, commonly known as IR visas, are the most easily obtained type of family visas for two reasons: the U.S. government issues an unlimited number of them each year and you do not need to be a U.S. citizen, only a permanent U.S. resident,  to help your family members get them.

IR Visas come in the following five types:

  1. IR-1 for your spouse
  2. IR-2 for your unmarried minor children
  3. IR-3 for any non-U.S. orphans you adopt in their country of birth
  4. IR-4 for any non-U.S. orphans you adopt in the U.S.
  5. IR-5 for your parents

Family Preference Visas

Your other family visa option is the Family Preference series of visas, applicable as follows:

  1. F1 for your single adult children and their minor children
  2. F2 for your spouse, minor children and single adult children
  3. F3 for your married children, their spouses and minor children
  4. F4 for your siblings, their spouses and minor children

While you can help your family members apply for F1, F3 and F4 visas as a permanent U.S. resident yourself, you must be a U.S. citizen to help them apply for F2 visas. The U.S. government issues only a limited number of Family Preference visas each year.