Immediate Relatives

The following immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are eligible to qualify for immigration in the immediate relative category:

  • Spouse of a U.S. Citizen (IR-1)
  • Child or Stepchild of a U.S. Citizen (IR-2)
    • Unmarried, under 21 years of age
    • An immigrant visa may only be processed for a child if he/she has NO claim to U.S. citizenship 
    • The stepparent-stepchild relationship must occur before the child’s 18th birthday
  • Parent of a U.S. Citizen (IR-5)
    U.S. citizen must be over the age of 21

The first step in applying for an immigrant visa is for the U.S. citizen (petitioner) to file the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A separate petition must be filed for each person immigrating.

Once the petition is approved, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.