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U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents may petition to certain foreign relatives who wish to immigrate to the United States.
For immediate relatives of a U.S. citizen, which include the spouse (husband or wife), children (unmarried and under 21 years old), and the parents of U.S. citizens (In this last case, the U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old). For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, visas are always available, which means that the family member does not need to wait in line for a visa.
Also a U.S. Citizen may petition for other family members such as a child older than 21 years old and single, or a married child, or siblings (brothers or sisters). In these cases, be aware that a long backlog exists for visas in the “family” preference categories, F-1, F-3 and F-4.
A legal permanent resident may petition for certain family members to immigrate to the United States as legal permanent residents, such as the spouse (husband or wife), an unmarried children under 21 or an unmarried son or daughter of any age. There is also a long backlog for “family” preference categories, F-2a, and F-2b.