Petition for Alien Relative, or Fiancé(e)

Petition for Alien Relative, or Fiancé(e)

Immediate Relatives

Immediate relatives include spouse of US Citizen (USC), minor children (under 21) of USC and parents of USC, provided that the citizen petitioner is at least 21 years of age. The term “child” includes a legitimate child, a stepchild, legitimated child, illegitimate child, adopted child, and orphan child. Also, the spouse of a deceased US citizen may be considered an Immediate Relative even after the death of the US citizen petitioner. There is no limit to the number of immediate relative immigrant visas allocated in any fiscal year.


If you are an American citizen, you may bring your fiancé(e) to the United States to marry and reside in the US. In general, you must have met in person within the past two years and are both legally free to marry. After getting the fiancé(e) visa, your fiancé(e) enters the United States through a U.S. immigration port-of-entry. You must get married within 90 days of your fiancé(e)’s entry into the United States. After marriage, your spouse may apply to adjust his or her status to a lawful permanent resident.

Marriage to a US Citizen

When an alien marries a United States citizen and is granted lawful permanent residence, the alien will be granted a conditional resident status.  Such status is valid for two years from the date of the approval of the immigrant visa application or adjustment of status.  The same status is accorded to a step-child, if any, of a US citizen if the marriage of the step-parent to the natural parent is less than two years when the alien obtains lawful permanent resident status.  Please note that a step-child may only be considered as a “child” of a US citizen if the step-relationship occurred before the 18th birthday of the child and… Read More

Same-sex couples

Good news for couples in same-sex relationships: on June 26, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court held Section 3 of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) to be unconstitutional.  One consequence of the Court’s ruling is that same-sex marriages are now recognized as valid for U.S. immigration purposes provided that those marriages are legally valid where the occur.  USCIS will review immigration visa petitions and apply the same immigration laws filed on behalf of a same-sex spouse in the same manner as those filed on behalf of an opposite-sex spouse.  USCIS will not deny an application or petition based solely upon the same-sex nature of the marriage. Foreign nationals in a… Read More

Family-based Preference Categories

First Preference – Unmarried children of US citizens over the age of 21 years old Second Preference 2A – Spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 years old of lawful permanent residents 2B – Unmarried children age 21 years old and above of lawful permanent residents Third Preference – Married children of US citizens Fourth Preference – Brothers and sisters of US citizens, if such petitioner is at least 21 years of age. Spouses and unmarried children under 21 years of age of the principal beneficiaries of these family-based preference categories may be accorded the same status and order of consideration without filing a separate petition. Family-based preference… Read More