Being separated from your family for any length of time can be difficult, especially when that time is compounded by distance. For this reason, a person from abroad will often want to immigrate to the state of Georgia or elsewhere in United States so they can live with their loved ones. To do so, however, the immigrant will need a family-based visa to lawfully reside in the country. There are various types of family-based visas, the availability of which depends on the relationship between the immigrant and the U.S. relative sponsor.

First, there are immediate relative immigration visas. An unlimited amount of these visas can be issued each fiscal year. Spouses of U.S. citizens, unmarried children of a U.S. citizen who are under 21, orphans adopted abroad by U.S. citizens, orphans to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen and parents of U.S. citizens age 21 and up may all be eligible to apply for various types of immediate relative immigration visas.

More distant relatives may not be eligible for an immediate relative immigration visa, but they may be eligible for a family preference immigration visa. However, a limited number of these visas are issued each fiscal year. For example, only 23,400 Family First Preference visas will be issued to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their minor children. Only 114,200 Family Second Preference visas will be issued to spouses, minor children and unmarried children age 21 and up of lawful permanent residents. Only 23,4000 Family Third Preference visas will be issued to married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children. Finally, only 65,000 Family Fourth Preference visas will be issued to siblings of U.S. citizens and their spouses and minor children, if the U.S. citizen is age 21 or above.

Applying for any visa can be complex, especially for those who are unfamiliar with the immigration process. Fortunately, family immigration attorneys are available to provide professional guidance in such situations. With the right help, those seeking a family-based visa may be able to be reunited with their loved ones.