Preference relatives are certain family members of a U.S. citizen who are seeking to immigrate to the United States based on their relationship to the U.S. citizen. There are yearly limitations on family preference immigrants and the relatives in this category must often wait several years before an immigrant visa becomes available. The available visas are issued in the order in which the petitions were filed (the priority date).
The family preference categories include unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their minor children; spouses, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 and over) of Lawful Permanent Residents; married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children; and 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.
Definition from Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary
An immigration term for certain people who may be eligible for U.S. permanent residence (a "green card") based on family relationships. Preference relatives include the married children of U.S. citizens, children over 21 of U.S. citizens, the spouses or children of U.S. green card holders, and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens where the U.S. citizen is at least 21 years old. Preference relatives must usually wait to get a green card, because only around 480,000 are available to them in total each year. They must wait in line based on their priority date, which is the date when their U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioner first filed a visa petition indicating willingness to sponsor the immigrant.
Definition provided by Nolo’s Plain-English Law Dictionary.
August 19, 2010, 5:22 pm