The Family Preference Categories: An Introduction

Former INS Attorney Carl Shusterman (1976–82) discusses how US citizens & permanent residents can sponsor their relatives for green cards. Schedule a legal consultation (by Skype, telephone or in person) at

The family-based immigration preference categories include:

1st — Unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens See

2A — Spouses and Children of Green Card Holders See

2B — Unmarried Adult Sons and Daughters of Green Card Holders See

3rd — Married Sons and Daughters of US Citizens See

4th — Brothers and Sisters of US Citizens See

Attorney Shusterman explains various factors that can help you speed up what might otherwise by a very long wait for a green card.

For example, let’s say you are born in Mexico or the Philippines and have been petitioned under the family-based 4th preference category by your US citizen sibling. The waiting time would normally be over 20 years. However, if you marry someone who was not born in Mexico or the Philippines, your waiting time will be cut in half.

Attorney Shusterman uses his 38 years of experience as an immigration lawyer to provide you with various tips to shorten your waiting time for a green card under the State Department Visa Bulletin.

For more information, please see our Green Cards through Family Members page at

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