Preference Category Relative

Preference Category Relatives:

Family Preference Immigrant Visas have a yearly limit on the number issued for each category; depending on the category in which a family member is classified, the processing times may vary greatly.

Preference Categories

Beneficiaries covered

Number of immigrant visas available for each category per year

First (F1): Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens (over 21) 23,400


Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years old of lawful permanent residents. 114,200

*At least seventy-seven percent of all visas available for this category will go to (F-2A) spouses and children of LPR’s;



Unmarried Sons and Daughters (21 years of age or older).
Third (F3): Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and minor children. (23,400) 23,400
Fourth(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. 65,000

Derivative Beneficiary:

The principal beneficiary (relative who the immigrant visa is being applied for) can apply for derivatives beneficiaries (spouse/children). However, only family members in the preference categories can apply for beneficiaries. Immediate Relatives cannot apply for derivative beneficiaries.