Lawful Permanent Residents may ONLY file for their spouses and unmarried sons or daughters. Spouses and sons and daughters under age 21 are in the Family-Based Second Preference “A” category. Sons and daughters age 21 and over are in the Family-Based Second Preference “B” category.

An immigrant visa must be approved and the priority date must be current before the spouse or unmarried child of a Legal Permanent Resident can consular process or adjust status if the individual is lawfully in the U.S.

The waiting periods for this category can often be lengthy.  If the petitioning family member becomes a U.S. citizen, the preference category the individual filed under as a Lawful Permanent Resident automatically switches to that of a U.S. citizen on the date of the petitioning family member’s naturalization.

Children under the age of 21 of the sponsored immigrant in this preference category may immigrate with their parents as a derivative and the child does not require a separate visa petition. Spouses and children under 21 may be eligible to immigrate to the U.S. with the family member, without filing for a separate petition on their behalf. If the child marries while the petitioning family member is still a Legal Permanent Resident, the application will be terminated.

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