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How family preference visas help those whose children are abroad

On Behalf of | Aug 25, 2023 | Immigration Law

Some people qualify for a visa through their employment or educational pursuits. Others may have family members in the United States, and their relationship with those individuals can afford those parties an immigration opportunity.

For someone who has already lawfully entered the United States but has loved ones living in other countries, it is sometimes possible to assist them if they would like to enter the United States as well. Provided that the sponsoring loved one is either a United States citizen or they have secured a green card that makes them a permanent resident, they could potentially help specific family members pursue a family preference visa that could lead to a green card for those close family members. Children are among the individuals who may potentially qualify for a family preference visa if one of their parents is a United States citizen or a permanent resident.

Unmarried, younger children have the highest preference

There are multiple preference categories for family preference visas, and several options specifically apply to the children of citizens or those with green cards. There are more restrictions that apply if the child has a permanent resident for a parent as opposed to a citizen. The second preference category allows the children of those with green cards to seek a green card themselves. The highest preference will go to unmarried children under the age of 21. However, there is a secondary, slightly lower preference category for married children of permanent residents who are over the age of 21.

There are entirely separate categories for the children of United States citizens. The first preference category is for the unmarried children of United States citizens. These children will have the best chance of securing a family preference visa. The third preference category allows United States citizens to help their married children pursue a visa.

For some parents, it may be worthwhile to become a citizen so that they can reconnect with their children. Others will simply need to be patient and diligent as they seek to help their children secure a green card. Learning more about the visa programs that could help someone reconnect with their loved ones can be a very important first step in the process of reuniting with a child living abroad.