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U.S. Immigration

Permanent Immigration - numerical limited immigrants; family-based / employment-based

Family-Based
...and not a Immediate Relative, see Overview Page
  • Family First Preference (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children, if any. (quota ca. 23,400)
  • Family Second Preference (F2): Spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (over age 20) of lawful permanent residents. (quota ca. 114,200) At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
  • Family Third Preference (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children. (quota ca. 23,400)
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): Brothers and sisters of United States citizens, and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are at least 21 years of age. (quota ca. 65,000)


Petition
Relatives of intending immigrants who plan to base their immigrant visa applications on family relationship must file a Form I-130: Immigrant Petition for Relative.

Employment/Investment-Based
The Immigration and Nationality Act provides a yearly minimum of 140,000 employment-based immigrant visas which are divided into five preference categories. They may require a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the filing of a petition with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security.
A total minimum of 140,000 immigrant visas yearly are available for this category which is divided into five preference groups (percent of yearly limit):

  • EB-1: Priority Workers: Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and certain multinational executives and managers (28.6%).
  • EB-2 Members of the Professions: Professionals holding advanced degrees, and persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, and business (28.6%).
  • EB-3 Professionals, Skilled and Unskilled Workers: Professionals holding baccalaureate degrees, skilled workers with at least two years experience, and other workers whose skills are in short supply in the United States (28.6%).
  • EB-4 Special Immigrants: Certain religious workers, ministers of religion, certain international organization employees and their immediate family members, and qualified, recommended current and former U.S. Government employees. (7.1%).
  • EB-5 Investors: Persons who create employment for at least ten unrelated persons by investing capital in a new commercial enterprise in the United States. The minimum capital required is between $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the employment rate in the geographic area (7.1%).

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Document Information
Source: U.S. State Department; USCIS
Last modified: 20041128
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