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    UNITED STATES
     /  USA  /  Family Migration
    USA
    Family Migration
    Overview
    To be eligible to apply for a Family immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative and U.S. lawful permanent resident.

    Immigrant Visa (Permanent Resident Card or Green Card)
    A permanent resident card, which is called as a “Green Card”, is for individuals who have been granted authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis.

    Nonimmigrant Visa
    A non-immigrant visa is granted to a tourist, business, student or specialty worker to stay in the United States during the validity of the visa in order to accomplish a specific purpose such as visiting, traveling, studying or working in a specialty job. Individuals who seek for obtaining a non-immigrant visa should not intend to remain in the United States permanently.
    Family-based Immigrant Visa Categories
    Type(s) Petitioner Beneficiary Quota Remark(s)
    K-1 U.S. Citizen Fiancé(e) X The petitioner intend to marry within 90 days of your fiancé(e) entering the United States
    K-2 U.S. Citizen Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a Fiancé(e) of U.S. citizens (K-1) X If the petitioner’s fiancé(e) has a child who is under 21 and unmarried, a K-2 nonimmigrant visa may be available to the child.
    IR-1 U.S. Citizen Spouse of a U.S. Citizen X The petitioner and a foreign spouse of the petitioner must be legally married more than two years. This visa entitles the foreign spouse to receive a Permanent Resident Card for a period of 10 years.
    CR-1 U.S. Citizen Spouse of a U.S. Citizen X The petitioner and a foreign spouse of the petitioner must be legally married less than two years. This visa entitles the foreign spouse to receive a Conditional Permanent Resident Card for a period of 2 years.
    IR-2 U.S. Citizen Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a Spouse of U.S. Citizen (IR-1) X The visa may be available to an under 21 and unmarried child of the petitioner and a foreign spouse who are legally married more than two years.
    CR-2 U.S. Citizen Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a Spouse of U.S. Citizen (CR-1) X The visa may be available to an under 21 and unmarried child of the petitioner and a foreign spouse who are legally married less than two years.
    K-3 U.S. Citizen Spouse of a U.S. Citizen X The visa may be available to a foreign spouse of a U.S. Citizen to be admitted to the U.S. as nonimmigrants while the foreign spouse is awaiting the adjudication of IR/CR-1.
    K-4 U.S. Citizen Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a Spouse of U.S. Citizen (K-3) X The visa may be available to a child who is unmarried and under 21 of a qualified K-3 nonimmigrant visa applicant.
    IR-3 U.S. Citizen Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen X The visa may be available when a full and final adoption is completed abroad. It requires that the parent physically see the child prior to or during the adoption proceedings.
    IR-4 U.S. Citizen Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen X The visa may be available to a child who is coming to the United States to be adopted, was adopted abroad by only one parent (if married), and was not seen by the parent(s) prior to or during the adoption.
    IR-5 U.S. Citizen Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old X The visa may be available to the parents of the petitioner who must be a U.S. citizen at least 21 years old.
    F-1 U.S. Citizen Unmarried Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens O The visa is subject to a numeric annual limit, the visa may be issued in the chronological order. The visa can be issued when the applicant priority date (the filing date) is reached.
    F-2 Permanent Residents Spouses and Children, and Unmarried Sons and Daughters of Permanent Residents O The visa is subject to a numeric annual limit, the visa may be issued in the chronological order. The visa can be issued when the applicant priority date (the filing date) is reached. The visa may be available to a spouse, an unmarried and under 21 child, and an unmarried and over 21 child of a lawful permanent resident.
    F-3 U.S. Citizen Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens O The visa is subject to a numeric annual limit, the visa may be issued in the chronological order. The visa can be issued when the applicant priority date (the filing date) is reached.
    The visa may be available to married sons and daughters, their spouse, and their unmarried children of a U.S. Citizen.
    F-4 U.S. Citizen Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens O The visa is subject to a numeric annual limit, the visa may be issued in the chronological order. The visa can be issued when the applicant priority date (the filing date) is reached.
    The visa may be available to brothers and sisters, their spouse, and their unmarried children of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years.
    * The available immigrant visas of Family-based preference 1, 2, 3, 4 will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed using their priority date. The filing date of a petition becomes what is called the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. You may check the Immigration News section and the Notice section of the UNC website for the latest priority dates.
    Process and Processing Time
    Immigrant Visa (Permanent Resident Card or Green Card)
    - Waiting for a Petitioner’s Priority Date
    Whenever the number of qualified applicants for a category exceeds the available immigrant visas, there will be an immigration wait. In this situation, the available immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed using their priority date. The filing date of a petition becomes what is called the applicant's priority date. Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached. In certain categories with many approved petitions compared to available visas, there may be a waiting period of several years, or more, before a priority date is reached. Check the Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.

    - Waiting for a Decision on the Petition
    USCIS notifies the petitioner of a decision. If the petition is denied, the notice will include the reasons for denying the petition and any rights to appeal the decision. If the petition is approved and if you are the beneficiary of the petition and living outside the United States or living in the United States, but choose to apply for your immigrant visa abroad, USCIS will then send the approved petition to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC), where it will remain until an immigrant visa number is available.

    - Waiting for Notification from the National Visa Center
    The National Visa Center, which is responsible for the collection of visa application fees and supporting documentation, will notify the petitioner and beneficiary when the visa petition is received and again when an immigrant visa number is about to become available. They will also notify the petitioner and beneficiary of when they must submit immigrant visa processing fees (commonly referred to as “fee bills”) and when supporting documentation must be submitted.

    Once a visa is available or a beneficiary’s priority date is current (earlier than the cut-off date listed in the monthly Visa Bulletin), the consular office will schedule the applicant for an interview. The consular office will complete processing of the applicant’s case and decide if the beneficiary is eligible for an immigrant visa.

    Nonimmigrant Visa
    Nonimmigration visa application process and required documents may vary based on visa categories. However, the below five steps are commonly applied for most nonimmigration visas.
    - Frist Step : Pay the application fee using various payment options
    - Second Step : Fill DS-160 From, a standard U.S. nonimmigration visa online form
    - Third Step : Schedule an appointment for the interview with a consular/embassy office
    - Fourth Step : Attend the scheduled interview with a consular/embassy office
    - Fifth Step : The vise will be sent by the courier to the passport/visa collection location you specified at the time of
    taking an appointment of the interview.
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