Member Of:
AILA - American Immigration Lawyers Association
Sacramento County Bar Association
AILA - Northern California Chapter

Family Preference Category System & the Visa Bulletin

Certain family members under U.S. immigration laws fall into the family preference category system where there are a limited number of visas available in each category. Typically, there are more applications made each year than there are visas available, which creates a queue or line for visas to become available. The categories available under the family preference category system include:

  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (over the age of 21 years old) of U.S. Citizens (First Preference)
  • Spouses and Children (under the age of 21 years old) of Permanent Residents (Second – F2A Preference)
  • Unmarried Sons and Daughters (over the age of 21 years old) of Permanent Residents (Second – F2B Preference)
  • Married Sons and Daughters of U.S. Citizens (Third Preference)
  • Brothers and Sisters of Adult U.S. Citizens (Fourth Preference)

There are no categories for parents of permanent residents, siblings of permanent residents, married sons or daughters of permanent residents.

Each month, the U.S. Department of State issues a visa bulletin. In this visa bulletin, it summarizes the availability of immigrant visas for each month based on when the underlying petition was filed (called the “priority date”).

Contact our immigration law firm at (916) 295-7650 for a consultation to determine if your family member is eligible to immigrate to the United States.

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