Family unification is one of the main principles governing immigration policy. The family-based immigration category allows U.S. citizens and Legal Permanent Residents to bring specific family members to the United States. Family-based immigrants are admitted either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.
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).
Immigrants falling under the immediate relatives’ category must meet certain eligibility requirements, and petitioners must meet certain age and financial requirements.