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Immigrant Visa Categories

An Immigrant Visa Category describes the relationship between the petitioner and the applicant seeking to immigrate to the United States.

In order to qualify for immigration to the U.S. an applicant must be petitioned by a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident.  Depending on whether the petitioner is a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident, that person must have a qualifying familial or employment relationship with the applicant.  Former Legal Permanent Residents who lost their residency for reasons beyond their control may also qualify for immigration.

Some Immigrant Visa Categories do not qualify for an Immigrant Visa until their "Priority Date" has become current. Find out more about Priority Dates as well as what the current priority dates are.

Below are listed the most common Immigrant Visa Categories. To find out additional Immigrant Visa Categories visit the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.

 If Petitioner is a U.S. Citizen:

Visa Category     Description

IR1                   Applicant is spouse of a U.S. citizen.
IR2                   Applicant is minor child of a U.S. citizen.

CR1                  Applicant is spouse of a U.S. citizen for less 
                       than two years.            

CR2                  Applicant is minor child of a U.S. citizen for
                       less than two years.

IR3                   Applicant is orphan adopted abroad by a U.S.

IR4                   Applicant is orphan to be adopted in the United
                       States by a U.S. citizen.

IR5                   Applicant is parent of a U.S. citizen.

IW                    Applicant is widow of a U.S. citizen who died
                        less than two years ago and to whom the 
                        applicant was married at least two years.

K1                     Applicant is fiancee of a U.S. citizen who will
                        travel to get married in the U.S.

K3                     Applicant is spouse of a U.S. citizen who has
                        an immigrant visa petition filed but not yet

F1*                  Applicant is unmarried son or daughter of a U.S.
                       citizen (21 years or older, single, widowed or

F3*                  Applicant is married son or daughter of a U.S.

F4*                  Applicant is brother or sister of a U.S.

* Subject to "Priority Date".

If Petitioner is a Legal Permanent Resident:

Visa Category    Description

F2A*              Applicant is spouse and/or
                     minor child of a Legal Per-
                     manent Resident*                    

FAB*              Applicant is unmarried son or 
                     daughter of a Legal Permanent
                     Resident (21 years or older, single,
                     widowed or divorced).*

* Subject to "Priority Date".

If Petitioner is an Employer:

Visa Category   Description

E1                 Priority Workers.

E2                 Professionals with Advanced Degrees.

E3*               Skilled Workers and Professionals.

E3W*             Other Workers

E4                 Special Immigrants.

 * Subject to "Priority Date".

Special Categories:

Visa Category   Description

SB1                  Applicant is former Legal Permanent 
                       Resident who lost his/her residency 
                       for reasons beyond their control.