Categories of I-130 Visas

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The Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) form. It’s used by U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents to establish a qualifying relationship with certain alien relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.

The I-130 is not a visa itself, but it’s a step in the process for obtaining a family-based immigrant visa. Here are the categories of family-based immigrant visas for which one might file an I-130:

  1. Immediate Relative (IR) visas: These visas are based on a close family relationship with a U.S. citizen. The number of immigrants in these categories is not limited each fiscal year. Immediate relatives include:
    • IR-1: Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
    • IR-2: Unmarried Child Under 21 Years of Age of a U.S. Citizen
    • IR-3: Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
    • IR-4: Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
    • IR-5: Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is at least 21 years old
  2. Family Preference (F) visas: These are for more distant family relationships with a U.S. citizen and some specified relationships with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). There are fiscal year numerical limitations on family preference immigrants. The categories include:
    • F1: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children, if any.
    • F2: Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of LPRs.
      • F2A: Spouses and Children of Permanent Residents
      • F2B: Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older) of Permanent Residents
    • F3: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children.
    • F4: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age.

Remember, it’s important to consult with an immigration attorney or expert when navigating these procedures to ensure that you’re following the correct processes and adhering to the current immigration laws and regulations.

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