Family Immigration – F Preference
U.S. citizens and green card holders can sponsor certain family members for a green card. F visas typically face a quota and waiting list, which varies in length depending on country of origin. Our experienced immigration attorneys can help you sort through the confusion, determine eligibility to enter the United States, and help you complete and process the necessary paperwork.
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F Preferences for Family Members
There are four family-sponsored preference categories. Each immigration preference category faces numerical limitations. The number of applications from several countries exceed these limitations, necessitating a waiting list. The current waiting list and priority dates can be found here.
First Preference (F1)
- Unmarried children over the age of 21 of U.S. citizens
- Number of visas issued annually: 23,400 plus any numbers not required for fourth preference
Second Preference (F2)
The number of visas issued annually is 114,200, plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference numbers. Second preference has two classifications.
- F2A Preference – Spouses and children under the age of 21 of legal permanent residents
- Number of visas issued annually: 77% of available second preference visas, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit
- F2B Preference – Unmarried children over the age of 21 of legal permanent residents
- Number of visas issued annually: 23% of available second preference visas
Third Preference (F3)
- Married children over the age of 21 of U.S. citizens
- Number of visas issued annually: 23,400, plus any numbers not required by first and second preferences
Fourth Preference (F4)
- Siblings of adult U.S. citizens
- Number of visas issued annually: 65,000, plus any numbers not required by first three preferences.
Due to the extended waiting lists, the timeline for filing for a family preference green card can be confusing and involve a lot of waiting. The immigration process is different for potential permanent residents currently in the United States and those in their home countries, and also whether or not a visa is currently available.
Talk to an Immigration Lawyer Today!
Making even one small mistake on your immigration forms can lead to delays and even rejections. The Law Offices of Scott Warmuth has been helping immigrants and their family sponsors through the difficult immigration law system since 1984. We provide individualized immigration advice to our clients. If you would like to sponsor a relative for a United States green card or if you have a family member willing to sponsor you, contact our immigration attorneys today for a free consultation.