Help for Immigrants with Family-based Visas and Green Cards
U.S. immigration law provides for granting visas and Green Cards to individuals who have a close relationship to either a U.S. Citizen or a permanent resident. These visas are sometimes referred to as family based visas. For immediate family members (which means the spouse of a U.S. citizen, the parents of children over 21 who are themselves U.S. citizens and unmarried children of U.S. citizens) this process can be relatively quick and straightforward and is not subject to any quota restrictions. Click here if you are a U.S. citizen and would like more information about how to apply for a family based visa for one of your immediate relatives.
All other family based visas are subject to an annual numerical quota limitation under visa issuance guidelines that are published monthly by the US Department of State.
The total number of visas available for non-immediate relative family sponsored immigrants is 480,000 annually. When the quota numbers are over subscribed for any year, the foreign relative must wait until the next fiscal year (October 1) and until the visa waiting list for their visa category becomes current before they can determine whether they have become eligible under that visa category. Click here if you want more information about the annual limits that apply.
For help with Family-based visas and Green Cards, please contact the New York Immigration Law Center.