Non-preference categories are as follows:
These USA visas are subject to 23,000 issuances annually and include adult, divorced sons and daughters of US citizens.
A daughter or a son is adjudicated to be different from the child of a US citizen. A child, for US migration purposes, is the unmarried son or daughter of a US citizen under the age of 21. A child is allowed to enter the United States without any regard for the numerical quota. Thus, the son or daughter can be of any age to qualify for a visa under this category.
This preference is pertinent to the spouses and unmarried sons and daughters of legal permanent resident aliens in the United States. Age is irrelevant for this category of visas. A minimum of 114,000 visas is allotted annually plus any unused visas for the first preference visas.
Seventy-seven percent of the visas are allocated to spouses and children of permanent residents whilst twenty-three percent are issued to unmarried sons and daughters. A divorced son or daughter is allowed to live and work in the USA as an immigrant beneficiary sponsored by a permanent resident alien.
If the sponsored alien resident then marries a foreign person, the spouse does not automatically become entitled to permanent residence. The permanent resident spouse is required to file a petition for the benefit of the other party. Whilst the petition is pending, the foreign spouse must remain outside of the USA until his/her visa application is approved.
This preference allocates 23,400 visas per year plus any other visas that have not been used by the first two family-sponsored preference groups. Applications apply to adult sons and daughters of US citizens who wish to live and/or work in the United States on a permanent basis.
This fourth preference of visas applies to those who have US citizen brother and sisters. The annual issuance for this visa is 65,000 plus any other visas which have not been utilized in the other family-based preference categories.
The United States citizen must be at least twenty-one years of age to file a petition for the benefit of the foreign alien. The foreign sibling applies for a visa upon the approval of the petition.
Half brothers and sisters of US citizens also qualify to apply for a visa in this category as long as the relationship was established before both siblings reached the age of 21.
Green cards are issued following the acquisition of US permanent residence. The two are regarded as synonymous.
Note: Annual quotas outlined above may be subject to change.
Spouses, children and parents of US citizens are afforded immediate relative status and are in a comparatively advantageous position for US immigration purposes. This provides substantial benefits in relation to processing times of green card petitions and their correlating US visa applications amongst other benefits.