Immediate relative vs family preference category | US Immigration

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Immediate Relative

Family preference

What is it

This type of visa is provided for close family members of the U.S citizen.

This category allows more distant relatives to enter Canada.

Types of relative

· Spouse of the US citizen

· Unmarried children under 21 years of age

· Orphan adopted by a U.S. citizen abroad

· Or Orphan to be adopted abroad

· Parents of U.S citizens

· Married children and their spouses, and children

· Brother and sisters and their minor children and spouses

· Children of US citizens and their children


There are minimal limits in this category. The number of immigrants that may enter this category is not limited.

There are limits on the number of immigrants that may enter under this category. Each sub-category has a numerical limit.

Processing time

The relatives in this category are given priority, and they may be able to avoid visa lines.

Process may take longer, and there are only limited numbers of visas available.

Sub categories

There are no sub- categories

Sub- categories are:

· Family first preference: unmarried children and their minors.

· Second preference: unmarried children over 21

· Third preference: married children and their spouses and children

· Fourth preference: siblings of U.S citizens