The Immigration Procedure for an Immediate Relatives (IR) has two phases:

1. The I-130 Petition for an Alien Relative.

  • Your sponsor (spouse or parent or adult child) must file the petition with USCIS. You can apply for an Immigrant Visa as soon as the I-130 petition is approved.

2. The Visa Procedure.

  • You must submit the Immigrant Visa Application Form DS-260.
  • Your sponsor must provide proof he/she has the financial means to do so and submit an Affidavit of Support. If he/she cannot meet the requirements, one or two co-sponsors can be added.
  • You must submit documentation, undergo a Medical Examination and appear for a Visa Interview in your home country. If you are approved you will be issued a visa.
  • An Immigrant Visa is valid for six months after it is issued. You must travel to the US within that time to activate it. Inside the US the visa becomes a Green Card.


  • If a child is the child of a US citizen and the I-130 Petition was filed before he/she turned 21, the child remains eligible as an IR as long as it stays unmarried.
  • If a child immigrates with a parent sponsored by a US citizen spouse, the marriage must have taken place before the child turned 18. It then counts as a (step)child of the US citizen, making it eligible for a Green Card.
  • If a child is close to 18 years of age, or older then 18 but not yet 21, it is better if the foreign parent postpones the wedding and immigrates on a K-1 Fiancé Visa. The child will then be issued a K-2 Visa. The child must be unmarried.
    For more information also regarding Status Adjustment for the child, see K-1 Fiancé(e) Visa.)