Family unification is an important principle governing immigration policy.
First, the family-based immigration category allows U.S. citizens and (LPRs) to bring certain family members to the United States. LPR means Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs). Family-based immigrants are admitted either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.
Prospective immigrants under the immediate relatives’ category must meet standard eligibility criteria, and petitioners must meet certain age and financial requirements. Immediate relatives are:
- spouses of U.S. citizens;
- unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens (under 21-years-old); and
- parents of U.S. citizens (petitioner must be at least 21-years-old to petition for a parent).
Also, a limited number of visas are available every year under the family preference system; but prospective immigrants must meet standard eligibility criteria, and petitioners must meet certain age and financial requirements. The preference system includes:
- adult children (married and unmarried) and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (petitioner must be at least 21-years-old to petition for a sibling), and
- spouses and unmarried children (minor and adult) of LPRs.
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Source: American Immigration Council.