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.