In some instances, qualifying family members may be eligible for a family-based green card. Those Foreign Nationals who believe they may be eligible for a family-based green card must be an immediate family member which is defined as a spouse, unmarried child under the age of 21, or a parent(s). There is no limit on the number of visas available for immediate family members as there is always a visa number available for this category. If you are not an immediate family member, there are still options available to you, but these options are a little more restrictive in nature.
Categories for Family Based Green Cards
There is a category which is referred to as the “Family Preference Category” which allows a U.S. Citizen to sponsor a family member even if the family member is not an immediate relative. If a Foreign National wishes to be eligible under the “Family Preference Category,” he or she must fall under one of the following:
Unmarried sons or daughters over the age of 21;
Married child(ren) of any age; or,
Brothers and sisters (if the U.S. Citizen Petitioner is over the age of 21)
*It is important to note that there is a waiting period before an immigrant visa number become available for those wishing to be sponsored under the family preference category because Congress has placed a cap on the number of relatives who may immigrate under this category.