Every fiscal year (October 1st – September 30th), approximately 226,000 family-based immigrant visas are made available to certain relatives of U.S. citizens and Lawful Permanent Residents under the provisions of U.S. immigration law. Priority dates to receive a visa number is determined by the date of filing of a petition. Family-based immigrant visas are divided up into five preference categories. Some categories permit spouses and children to receive visas as derivatives.
First: (F1) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. citizens
Second: (F2A) Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents/(F2B) Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents
Third: (F3) Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens
Fourth: (F4) Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens
A Fiancé(e) Visa, or K visa, permits a United States citizen to petition for his or her fiancé(e) to permit them to travel to the United States for the purpose of marrying and then pursuing Adjustment of Status. A person who travels to the United States with a K visa is not eligible to adjust status on the basis of his or her marriage to someone other than the original K petitioner.
V Nonimmigrant visas allow lawful permanent residents to request that their spouses and children be permitted to travel to the United States to await the processing of their immigrant visas for cases lasting longer than three years.
The Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) through the Immigration and Nationality Act at § 204(a)(1)(A)(iii) allows abused spouses, children, and parents of United States citizens and lawful permanent residents to self-petition for immigrant visas. Petitioners will need to show that they were battered or subjected to extreme cruelty by their United States citizen or lawful permanent resident relative, shared residence (past or present), as well as good moral character.
Special Immigrant Juvenile status is available to children present in the United States under the age of 21 who have been abandoned, neglected or abused by one or both parents, cannot be reunited with that parent, who have been declared to be a dependent of the court, to seek lawful permanent resident status.