9 FAM 502
Immigrant visa classifications

9 FAM 502.1

IV Classifications Overview

(CT:VISA-190;   09-28-2016)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO/L/R)

9 fam 502.1-1  iv categories, beneficiaries

9 FAM 502.1-1(A)  Related Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 502.1-1(A)(1)  Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

INA 101(a)(27)(C) (8 U.S.C. 1101(a)(27)(C)); INA 101(b)(1)(E) (8 U.S.C. 1101(b)(1)(E)); INA 203(a)-(d) (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)-(d)); INA 203(g) (8 U.S.C. 1153(g)).

9 FAM 502.1-1(A)(2)  Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

22 CFR 40.1(a)(1); 22 CFR 42.11.

9 FAM 502.1-1(A)(3)  Public Law

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Child Status Protection Act, Public Law 107-208.

9 FAM 502.1-1(B)  IV Categories, Beneficiaries - Overview

(CT:VISA-190;   09-28-2016)

As previously noted, to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. lawful permanent resident, or a prospective employer, with a few exceptions.  The sponsor begins the immigration process by filing a petition on the foreign citizen beneficiary’s behalf with USCIS.  There are several categories of immigrant visas, including family-based, employment-based, special immigrant visas that cover special types of workers or special circumstances, the yearly Diversity Visa program, and others.  See a list of IV classifications and corresponding symbols in 9 FAM 502.1-3.

9 FAM 502.1-1(C)  Principal and Derivative Beneficiaries

9 FAM 502.1-1(C)(1)  Principal Applicants/Beneficiaries

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

A principal applicant, or beneficiary, is the alien on whose behalf a petition can be filed directly.

9 FAM 502.1-1(C)(2)  Derivative Applicants/Beneficiaries

(CT:VISA-190;   09-28-2016)

a. Derivatives – Overview:  A spouse or child acquired prior to the principal alien’s admission to the United States or the alien’s adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), or a child born of a marriage which existed prior to the principal alien’s admission to the United States as an immigrant or adjustment of status, who is following to join the principal alien, should be accorded derivative status under INA 203(d).

b. Accompanying and Following-to-Join Derivatives:

(1)  Accompanying: 

(a)  The term accompanying or accompanied by means not only an alien in the physical company of a principal alien but also an alien who is issued an immigrant visa within 6 months of:

(i)     The date of issuance of a visa to the principal alien;

(ii)    The date of adjustment of status in the United States of the principal alien; or

(iii)    The date on which the principal alien personally appears and registers before a consular officer abroad to confer alternate foreign state chargeability or immigrant status upon a spouse or child.

(b)  An “accompanying” relative may not precede the principal alien to the United States.

(2)  Following-to-Join:

(a)  Basis for Following-to-Join:  The term “following to join,” as used in INA 101(a)(27)(C) and INA 203(d), permits an alien to obtain an NIV or IV and the priority date of the principal alien as long as the alien following to join has the required relationship with the principal alien.  There is no statutory time period during which the following-to-join alien must apply for a visa and seek admission into the United States.  However, if the principal has died or lost status, or the relationship between the principal and derivative has been terminated, there is no longer a basis to following to join.  As an example, a person would no longer qualify as a child following to join upon reaching the age of 21 years (unless they qualify for the benefits of the Child Status Protection Act, see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)) or by entering into a marriage.  There is no requirement that the following-to-join alien must take up residence with the principal alien in order to qualify for the visa. (See 9 FAM 502.1-1(C)(2).)  The term “following to join” also applies to a spouse or child following to join a principal alien who has adjusted status in the United States.

(b)  Spouse or Child Acquired Prior to Admission of Principal Alien:  A spouse or child acquired prior to a principal alien’s admission to the United States is entitled to derivative status and the priority date of the principal alien, regardless of the period of time which may elapse between the issuance of a visa to or admission into the United States of the principal alien and the issuance of a visa to the spouse or child of such alien and regardless of whether the spouse or child had been named in the IV application of the principal alien.

(c)  Child Born After Admission of Principal Alien:  A child born of a marriage which existed at the time of the principal alien’s admission to the United States is considered to have been acquired prior to the principal alien’s admission and is entitled to the principal alien’s priority date.

(d)  Spouse or Child Acquired Subsequent to Admission of Principal Alien:  A spouse or child acquired through a marriage which occurs after the admission of the principal alien under INA 101(a)(27)(C) or INA 203(a) through INA 203(c) is not derivatively entitled to the status accorded by those provisions.

(e)  Adopted Child:  A child who qualified as a “child” under the provisions of INA 101(b)(1)(E) subsequent to the principal alien’s admission, but was adopted and was a member of the principal alien’s household prior to the adoptive parent’s admission to the United States, is considered to have been acquired prior to the principal alien’s admission.

(f)   Effect of Principal Alien’s Naturalization on Derivative Status:  A “following-to-join” derivative must immigrate to the United States prior to any naturalization as a U.S. citizen.  If the alien fails to immigrate prior to any naturalization the citizen must file an immediate relative petition for the family members.

c.  Determining Derivative Status:  The principal alien has the primary responsibility for establishing his or her legal resident status.  Paragraphs (1) and (2) below address use of post records and other documentation to determine the principal alien’s status, and paragraph (3) focuses on evidence of adjustment in particular.  See 9 FAM 202.2-5 for additional information on verification of LPR status, and 9 FAM 202.2-6 for additional information on LPR documentation.

(1)  When Post Records Exist:

(a)  When the post issues the principal applicant a visa, it should maintain complete records regarding the principal alien's issuance, classification, chargeability, and priority date to facilitate the processing of following-to-join beneficiaries.  Posts must follow proper procedures in the automated immigrant visa processing system to ensure that following-to-join case records are maintained accurately. Posts should not create new cases for following-to-join applicants if the principal was issued a visa at that post.

(b)  In cases where the principal alien has been issued a visa at post, the post should establish a file for the following-to-join applicants which should include the following:

(i)     Copy of the original petition;

(ii)    Copy of the principal alien’s IV application;

(iii)    Copies of civil documents for each derivative beneficiary; and

(iv)   Memorandum confirming biodata for derivative beneficiaries and tentative travel plans.

(c)  In cases where the principal applicant plans to precede the family to the United States, posts may wish to arrange an informal examination of the other members at the time of the principal’s application.  This will allow post to ascertain whether any of the family members has a possible mental, physical, or other ground of ineligibility which may prohibit the issuance of a visa, and thus would prevent or delay them in joining the principal.  (See 9 FAM 504.9-5.)

(2)  When Post Record Does Not Exist:

(a)  If no post record exists, posts should make every effort to verify the principal alien's visa category, chargeability, priority date, and admission into the United States based on available documentation such as:

(i)     The Principal Alien's Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card:  Apart from a complete file at post, the principal alien's Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, is probably the best evidence of lawful permanent resident status.  The Form I-551 indicates the visa category and date of entry into the United States.  Posts are advised, however, that a resident alien does not receive a Form I-551 immediately.  The demand on DHS card printing facilities to produce an increasing variety and number of cards has significantly increased the waiting period for the Permanent Resident Cards.  The wait for a card can be up to a year, and, in some cases, even longer.  Posts are therefore cautioned not to require the Form I-551 as a prerequisite for all following-to-join cases.  See 9 FAM 202.2-5 paragraph a for additional information on LPRs with Permanent Resident cards (I-551s);

(ii)    Form I-895, Form I-181 or Form I-824:  Form I-895, Attestation of Alien and Memorandum of Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence; Form I-181, Memorandum of Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence; or Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition (requested by the principal alien) may document the principal alien’s status;

(iii)    Person Centric Query Service (PCQS):  Post can look up the Principal Alien's record in PCQS if other documentation is not available.  PCQS includes all information available on a Form I-551; or

(iv)   Principal Alien's ADIT Stamp Showing Entry as an Immigrant:  When an immigrant enters the United States, DHS endorses his or her passport with an ADIT stamp.  The ADIT stamp shows the date of entry into the United States, visa category, and employment authorization.  This is the only evidence that the resident alien will carry until the Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, is received.  ADIT stamps have, however, proven to be highly susceptible to fraud and thus should be cautiously accepted as primary evidence of following-to-join status.  The information can be verified by PCQS. However, an ADIT stamp can be very useful secondary evidence, indicating that the individual may have a claim to derivative status and/or as a source of necessary data that may be missing from a file.  See 9 FAM 202.2-5 paragraph b for additional information on LPRs with valid ADIT stamps. 

(3)  When Principal Adjusts: 

(a)  In cases where the principal alien who adjusted status in the United States presents Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, with the visa application of a relative entitled to derivative classification and priority date (see 9 FAM 503.3-2(D)), the consular officer should create a case record for the derivative applicants.  At a minimum, this record should include:

(i)     Name, date and place of birth of the visa applicant;

(ii)    Name of the permanent resident and relationship to the applicant;

(iii)    Date LPR status verified; and

(iv)   Resident alien’s registration number, date of admission for permanent residence, and visa classification.

(b)  When the principal alien in a preference status who acquires permanent resident status by adjustment under INA 245 indicates that he or she has family who will follow to join, DHS generally sends the Form I-895, Attestation of Alien and Memorandum of Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence, to the consular office at the time of the principal alien’s adjustment.  If, however, the Form I-895 has not been received, the consular officer may verify the status of the principal alien in PCQS.  See 9 FAM 302.8-2(B)(4) for the Form I-864, Affidavit of Support under INA 213A, requirement in such cases.

d. Processing Derivative IV Cases:

(1)  Processing derivative IV cases is essentially the same as that of principal applicant processing, once you have established the follow-to-join family member's relationship to the principal applicant and that the applicant is therefore entitled to derivative status.

(2)  Derivative beneficiaries should be namechecked in the Consular Lookout and Support System (CLASS).  The fingerprints of applicants 14 years of age or older must be scanned.  (See 9 FAM 303.7 for more information on biometrics.)

e. Fraud and Following-to-Join Cases:  Since visa processing in follow-to-join cases is based primarily on documents presented by the applicant, a potential for fraud exists.  Internal controls, document checks, and record verification are all means of guarding against fraud.  However, consular officers should establish clear, consistent procedures for handling following-to-join cases based on the level of fraud which exists in the country and the security of local civil documents.  Where the post has issued a visa to the principal alien, post should retain as much pertinent information as possible on derivative beneficiaries who may apply later.  In cases where the post receives DHS notification of the principal alien’s adjustment, confirmation of derivative beneficiaries’ identities and claimed relationship is essential.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)  Child Status Protection Act

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(1)  The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) – Background

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

a. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), Public Law 107-208, permits an applicant for certain immigration benefits to retain classification as a child under the INA, even if he or she has reached the age of 21.  If an alien qualifies for CSPA benefits, the alien’s age is frozen at the age calculation provided for in the CSPA.  Under certain conditions, an alien whose CSPA age is determined to be younger than 21 and is unmarried will continue to be treated as a child for immigration purposes throughout the processing of the case.  See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) and 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(5).

b. The CSPA potentially applies to virtually all immigrant visa cases including: immediate relatives, family and employment-based visa classifications, derivatives in Diversity Visa (DV) cases, derivatives in Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) cases, beneficiaries under the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), and derivatives in asylee and refugee cases (for classes not covered by CSPA, see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(3)).

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(2)  Applicability of the CSPA

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

a. The CSPA was enacted into law on August 6, 2002 and applies to any alien who had an approved immigrant visa (IV) petition prior to the enactment of the CSPA, but had not yet applied for permanent residence (either an IV application or an application for adjustment of status).  It also applies to aliens whose IV petitions were approved after August 6, 2002.

b. In immediate relative (IR) cases and immediate beneficiary (IB) cases under the Violence Against Women Act, if the alien was under the age of 21 at the time a petition was filed by his or her parent for classification as an IR or IB, the alien will not age out provided the alien did not have a final decision prior to August 6, 2002 on an application for permanent residence or an immigrant visa application.

c.  The CSPA also applies to an alien whose visa became available on or after August 7, 2001 and who did not apply for permanent residence within one year of the visa availability, but would have qualified for CSPA coverage had he or she applied but for prior guidance from USCIS concerning the CSPA effective date.  In such cases, an IV applicant for a family or employment preference category who would not have qualified under prior guidance from USCIS is not required to demonstrate that he or she sought to acquire lawful permanent resident status within one year of a visa becoming available to benefit from the CSPA.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(3)  Inapplicability of the CSPA

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. Notwithstanding the visa classifications for which the CSPA does apply (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(2)), the CSPA does not apply to any alien:

(1)  Who, prior to August 6, 2002, the date the CSPA was enacted, had a final decision on an IV application or adjustment of status application based on an IV petition in which the applicant claimed to be a child; and

(2)  Who aged out (i.e., had reached the age of 21) before August 6, 2002.

b. The CSPA applies only to IV classifications expressly specified in the statute. The CSPA does not provide child age protection for nonimmigrant visas (NIVs) (e.g. K or V). Additionally, beneficiaries of petitions and their derivatives under the following programs are not specifically provided for in the CSPA:

(1)  Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act (NACARA, see 9 FAM 502.6-2)

(2)  Haitian Refugee Immigrant Fairness Act (HRIFA)

(3)  Family Unity (see 9 FAM 302.9-14(B)(4) paragraph b)

(4)  Cuban Adjustment Act

(5)  Chinese Student Protection Act

(6)  Special Immigrant Juvenile (see 9 FAM 502.5-7)

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4)  Calculation of CSPA Age for Preference Categories and Derivative Petitions

(CT:VISA-190;   09-28-2016)

a. For preference category and derivative petitions, the “CSPA age” is determined on the date that the visa, or in the case of derivative beneficiaries, the principal alien’s visa became available (i.e., the date on which the priority date became current in the Application Final Action Dates and the petition was approved, whichever came later).  The CSPA age is the result of subtracting the number of days that the IV petition was pending with USCIS (from date of receipt to date of approval, including any period of administrative review) from the actual age of the applicant on the date that the visa became available.  Administrative review includes any period of time during which USCIS is reviewing a previously approved petition.  The administrative review period may include the time it takes for USCIS to review a previously approved petition returned to USCIS by a consular officer for review and revocation.  The CSPA age adjustment period would run from the date of petition filing until the date USCIS takes final action on the petition.  You should note that in some cases, such as employment preference cases based on the filing of a labor certification, the priority date is not the same as the petition filing date.  The petition filing and petition approval dates are the only relevant dates.  Time waiting for a labor certification to be approved or for a priority date to become current is not taken into account.

b. For DV cases, the time period during which the “petition is pending” is necessarily different.  That time period is calculated using the first day of the DV application period for the program year in which the principal alien qualified and the date on which notifications that entrants had been selected become available.  That time difference will be subtracted from the derivative alien’s age on “the date the visa becomes available” to the principal alien.  The date a visa becomes available for a DV case is the first day on which the principal alien’s rank selection number is current for visa processing.

c.  For SIV cases (other than special immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan who will have a petition approved by USCIS), the time a petition is pending is the period between the applicant's submission and the consular officer's approval of  the DS-1884.  The applicant's priority date is the date he or she submitted the DS-1884 to the consular section.  The date a visa becomes available for an SIV case is the date on which the applicant's priority date becomes current in the employment-based fourth preference category. 

(1) For most countries, the fourth-preference employment based category is current, so the visa will be available to the applicant as soon as the DS-1884 is approved by the consular officer.  In these cases, any children under 21 when the DS-1884 is approved will lock in that age for CSPA purposes so long as they seek to acquire LPR status within a year of visa availability. 

(2) For some countries, the employment-based fourth preference category may be oversubscribed.  In these countries, the applicant’s visa will become available when his or her priority date is earlier than the Application Final Action Date published in the visa bulletin (as would be the case for any other preference visa category).  In calculating the age of any derivatives under CSPA, officers should subtract the time that the DS-1884 was pending with the consular section from the derivative’s actual age on the date that the visa became available.  Please see 9 FAM 502.5-3(C)(1) paragraph (3)(d) for further guidance on adjudicating non-current DS-1884 petitions.

d. If posts need to determine the date on which a particular priority date first fell within the Application Final Action Dates (which were referred to as cut-off dates in Visa Bulletins prior to the October 2015 Bulletin) for purposes of determining what the alien's age was on the date the case became current, posts should refer to their monthly Visa Bulletin files.  Alternatively, officers may access this information through the CCD:

(1)  Go to the Consular Consolidated Database Web site, then go to the "Public" tab and scroll down to the "IV Cutoff Dates by Visa Class."  Here, enter a post code and a time period.

(2)  If post's records or this online site do not have the necessary information, posts may contact CA/VO/DO/I for further assistance on historical movements of the Application Final Action Dates (i.e., cutoff dates).  Posts should note that in following-to-join cases the date of first visa availability is not the date when the principal alien adjusted status in the United States.  Adjustment of status often does not take place until long after a visa is first available to the principal alien.

e. If an alien benefits from both the 45-day provision of the USA PATRIOT Act (see 9 FAM 502.7-4(D)) and the age-out protection in the CSPA, posts should apply both statutes to the advantage of the alien beneficiary. (See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(8).)

f.  While the CSPA may prevent the alien's age from changing, the alien must still meet the other criteria for "child" status, including being unmarried.  Therefore, if the alien marries, the alien will lose "child" status (even though the alien's age, for immigration purposes, may be under 21 as a result of the CSPA).  A subsequent divorce that occurs after the child’s 21st birthday and after the visa becomes available will not restore “child” status because the alien was married at the time of visa availability.  However, if the alien divorces before the visa becomes available to the alien as either the principal applicant or the derivative beneficiary, then the divorce may restore the alien to “child” status if the alien’s CSPA age is under 21.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(5)  Conversion of Petition Status

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

CSPA coverage may vary depending on the changed circumstances affecting visa petitions, as noted in some of the examples below.  This is true for both immediate relative and preference beneficiaries.

(1)  Visa Classification Under an IR Category:

(a)  For IR and IB cases, if the alien beneficiary is under the age of 21 on the date of the petition filing, mathematically the alien cannot age out.  The alien beneficiary will qualify as a child as long as he or she does not marry.  There is no requirement to seek to acquire lawful permanent residence within one year for IR and IB cases.

(b)  For petitions filed for an alien beneficiary as the child of an LPR where the petition was subsequently changed to an immediate relative petition due to the naturalization of the parent while the alien beneficiary was younger than 21, then mathematically the alien cannot age out.  As above, the alien beneficiary will qualify as a child as long as he or she does not marry.  If the alien beneficiary’s true age was over 21 on the date the petitioner naturalized, then the petition will not convert to the immediate relative category and will remain under a family preference category.

(2)  Visa Classification Under a Preference Category:

(a)  If it is determined that the child of the beneficiary of a second preference petition is over the age of 21 for CSPA purposes, and the petitioner naturalizes, the petition is automatically converted to either first or third preference (provided the marriage occurred after the naturalization of the petitioner).  In such instances the beneficiary will retain the priority date.

(b)  Beneficiaries of family second preference petitions filed as F2B that were automatically converted to family first preference (F1) upon the petitioning parent’s naturalization may exercise the right to “opt out” of the conversion.  This also applies even if the petition in question was originally filed in the F2A category but has now been converted to F2B.  Such automatic conversion from second to first preference status could disadvantage an applicant if the F1 Application Final Action Date is less favorable.

(c)  Currently, only USCIS can approve “opt-out” requests. Petitioners, beneficiaries, and their legal representatives should be advised that they must file a request in writing with the USCIS District Office having jurisdiction over the beneficiary’s place of residence (see 9 FAM 602.2-2(E)).  The District Office should notify the appropriate visa issuing office if the request has been approved.

(d)  For a derivative beneficiary in family and employment based cases, DV cases, and SIV cases, if the derivative beneficiary’s “CSPA age‟ is under 21, the alien must seek to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status within one year of visa availability in order for CSPA coverage to continue (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)).  Be aware, however, that retrogression of visa numbers that affects visa availability during that year may extend possible CSPA coverage (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7), Retrogression of Visa Numbers).

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)  Sought to Acquire LPR Status Provision

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

a. In family and employment-based preference, DV, and SIV cases the alien must seek to acquire LPR status within one year of visa availability.  The one-year requirement does not apply in IR or IB cases.

(1)  The one-year requirement generally means that the applicant must have submitted the completed Form DS-260, Part I within one year of a visa becoming available.  However, if the principal applicant adjusted to LPR status in the United States and the derivative seeks a visa to follow to join, then the law requires generally that the principal has filed a Form I-824 within one year of a visa becoming available.  The submission of a Form DS-260 that covers only the principal applicant will not serve to meet the requirement for the alien child.

(2)  You should be aware that because the Form I-824 did not have a field specifically to list derivative beneficiaries, there is no requirement that the principal applicant attempt to amend the form to reflect the names of derivative applicants.  Therefore, the timely filing of the Form I-824 by the principal applicant in the United States will meet the CSPA requirement to seek to acquire LPR status within one year of visa availability.

(3)  The filing of a Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status, by the principal alien in the United States does not satisfy the "sought to acquire" provision on behalf of a following to join derivative.  However, a beneficiary can satisfy the "sought to acquire" requirement by paying IV fees, filing a Form I-864, Affidavit of Support (only if the applicant is listed on the Affidavit of Support), or paying the Form I-864 filing fee to NVC (only if the applicant is listed on the Affidavit of Support).  For questions about individual, fact-specific circumstances that may meet the "sought to acquire" requirement, submit an advisory opinion request to CA/VO/L/A. 

b. INA 203(h) requires that an alien beneficiary seek to acquire LPR status within one year, not that the alien actually acquire such status within one year.  Therefore, if the alien files a Form DS-260 but has his or her IV refused but the ground of refusal can be overcome, or if the alien is the beneficiary of an Form I-824 that is rejected for a procedural reason, the act of filing the Form DS-260 or Form I-824 may still satisfy the statute.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7)  Retrogression of Application Final Action Dates

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

a. In order to seek to acquire lawful permanent residence. an alien beneficiary must actually have one full year of visa availability.  If an Application Final Action Date retrogresses (e.g., employment-based third preference numbers are unavailable) or the preference category changes (e.g., F1 converts to F3) within one year of visa availability and the visa applicant has not yet sought to acquire LPR status,  then once a visa number becomes available again the one year period starts over. The alien beneficiary’s age under the CSPA is re-determined using the subsequent Application Final Action Date.

b. If a visa availability date retrogresses before the visa had been available for one full year, any actions taken within one year of the visa becoming available and that satisfy the "sought to acquire" requirement (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)) will be sufficient to lock in the applicant’s CSPA age as of the first day the visa became available during this time period. 

      EXAMPLE: If a visa became available on June 1, 2015, the visa availability date retrogressed on July 1, 2015 and the applicant sought to acquire a visa on August 1, 2015 by paying IV fees, the applicant's CSPA age would be locked in as of June 1, 2015 based on seeking to acquire within one year of visa availability. The next time the visa becomes available, the consular officer would calculate the CSPA age as of June 1, 2015.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(8)  Applicants Qualifying Under Section 424 of the USA PATRIOT ACT or the CSPA

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. In all cases in which an applicant qualifies under section 424 of the USA PATRIOT Act for visa validity for 45 days beyond the applicant’s 21st birthday, the visa should be issued for the additional 45 days.  The USA PATRIOT Act applies to petitions filed on or before September 11, 2001 for which the applicant aged out after September 11, 2001.

b. Posts must override the age 21 cutoff date in the IV software in order to apply the extra days. Some cases will qualify under the 45 days of the USA PATRIOT Act and the CSPA.  In those cases the 45 days of the USA PATRIOT Act should be included in calculation of the alien’s age under the CSPA (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph e).

c.  Any post that is not able to process either a USA PATRIOT Act case or a CSPA case to conclusion using the IV system should request assistance from the CA Support Desk or by e-mail at CAServiceDesk@state.gov.

d. For more information on processing applicants qualifying under the USA PATRIOT Act, see 9 FAM 502.7-4.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(9)  Consular Processing in CSPA Cases – Advisory Opinions

(CT:VISA-91;   03-16-2016)

a. The Department recognizes the complexity of the CSPA legislation. Advisory opinions should be submitted to the Department (CA/VO/L/A) in two specific instances:

(1)  If the alien applied before August 6, 2002 and was refused under 221(g) or on some other ground besides “aging out,‟ but that other refusal ground has been overcome/waived; or

(2)  If the officer encounters a case involving a derivative following to join a legally admitted immigrant or adjusted principal who has not filed Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, on the derivative’s behalf within the required time frame, but the consular officer determined that the derivative has taken some other concrete step to obtain LPR status within the required one-year time frame.

b. If post has any questions about the applicability of the CSPA in a particular case, an advisory opinion request may be submitted to the Department (CA/VO/L/A). Any such requests should include the following information:

(1)  The alien's date of birth;

(2)  The IV category;

(3)  Whether the alien is a principal or derivative;

(4)  Whether the petitioner naturalized and, if so, the date of naturalization;

(5)  The alien's marital status and, if ever married, the dates of marriage and dates of divorces;

(6)  The priority date of the petition;

(7)  The date the petition was filed;

(8)  The date the petition was approved;

(9)  The date the priority date became current in the Application Final Action Dates;

(10) The alien's age on the date that a visa became available (i.e., age on date of petition approval or on date priority date became current in the Application Final Action Dates, whichever is later);

(11) The date the alien submitted the Form DS-260 or the date the principal filed the Form I-824;

(12) The date(s) the principal and relevant derivative alien applied for the IV; and

(13) If any IV application(s) were made prior to the effective date of the CSPA, the outcome of the prior application(s).

9 FAM 502.1-2  Eligibility for IV Classification

9 FAM 502.1-2(A)  Related Statutory and Regulatory Authorities

9 FAM 502.1-2(A)(1)  Immigration and Nationality Act

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

INA 201(b) (8 U.S.C. 1151(b)); INA 203(a) (8 U.S.C. 1153(a)); INA 203(g) (8 U.S.C. 1153(g)); INA 204 (8 U.S.C. 1154).

9 FAM 502.1-2(A)(2)  Code of Federal Regulations

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

8 CFR 103.2; 8 CFR 204.2(h); 8 CFR 204.5.

9 FAM 502.1-2(A)(3)  Public Law

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

Violent Crime Control Act, Public Law 103-322, sec. 40701 (also known as the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA)); USA PATRIOT ACT, Public Law 107-56, sec. 421(b)(1)(B)(i); Department of Homeland Appropriations Act, 2010, Public Law 111-83, sec. 568(c).

9 FAM 502.1-2(B)  General IV Classification Guidelines

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

An alien shall be entitled to immigrant classification if the alien: is the beneficiary of an approved petition according immediate relative or preference status; or, has satisfied the consular officer that the alien is entitled to special immigrant status under INA(101)(a)(27) (A) or (B); or, is entitled to status as a Vietnam Amerasian under section 584(b)(1) of section 101(e) of Public Law 100–202 as amended by Public Law 101–167 and Public Law 101–513; or, is entitled to status as a diversity immigrant under INA 203(c).  See all IV classifications below.

9 FAM 502.1-2(C)  Petitions and IV Classifications

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. Petitions and Entitlement to IV Status:  A consular officer must not issue an immigrant visa without receipt from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) of an approved immigrant petition.  The approval of a petition under INA 204 is considered to establish prima facie entitlement to status.  The validity of the relationship between the petitioner and the alien beneficiary, familial or employer and/or employee, is presumed to exist.  See 9 FAM 504.2 for additional information on immigrant visa petitions.

b. Petition Validity and Termination of Relationship: 

(1)  Family-Based IV Classifications:  Unless an application is terminated pursuant to INA 203(g) (see 9 FAM 504.13) or revoked pursuant to 8 CFR 205.1, the approval of a petition to classify an alien as an immediate relative under INA 201(b) or a preference applicant under INA 203(a)(1), (2), (3), or (4) must remain valid for the duration of the relationship to the petitioner, and of the petitioner’s status, as established in the petition.  A petition filed by a battered or abused spouse or child under INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iii)(I) or INA 204(a)(1)(B)(iii), however, may not be revoked solely due to termination of the relationship. 

(2)  Employment-Based IV Classifications:  Unless an application is terminated pursuant to INA 203(g) (see 9 FAM 504.13-2(A)(1) and 9 FAM 504.13-4(A)) or is revoked under 8 CFR 205.1, the approval of an employment preference petition based on an approved labor certification is valid indefinitely until the alien immigrates or adjusts status.

(3)  See 9 FAM 502.1-2(D) for information on the effects of changes to family, employment and petitioner circumstances on IV classifications and petitions.

c.  Filing IV Petitions to Demonstrate IV Status:

(1)  In most cases, it is the prospective immigrant’s family member or future employer who will file the appropriate petition to start the IV case. However, there are a few groups of individuals who can self-petition:

(a)  E1 Aliens of extraordinary ability (see 9 FAM 502.4-2);

(b)  E2 Aliens of exceptional ability (see 9 FAM 502.4-3);

(c)  C5, T5 Investors (see 9 FAM 502.4-5);

(d)  DV applicants (self-submitted entry functions like a petition – see 9 FAM 502.6);

(e)  Widow/Widower of U.S. citizen (see 9 FAM 502.1-2(C) paragraph c(2));

(f)   Battered and/or Abused Spouses or Children of U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (see 9 FAM 502.1-2(C) paragraph c(3)); and

(g)  Spouse, child or adult son or daughter of an LPR killed in the September 11 attacks (see 9 FAM 502.7-4).

(2)  Widow/Widower of U.S. Citizen:

(a)  The spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen may file a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, for classification as an immediate relative under INA 201(b) provided the spouse:

(i)     Was the U.S. citizen’s legal spouse;

(ii)    Was not legally separated at the time of the spouse’s death;

(iii)    Has not remarried; and

(iv)   Either files a petition under INA 204(a)(1)(A)(ii) within two years of the spouse’s death; or

(v)    Is the beneficiary of a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed on the widow(er)’s behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse prior to his or her death. Such petitions will automatically convert to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, so long as, on the date of the U.S. citizen spouse’s death, the beneficiary qualified as an immediate relative under the INA.

(b)  Widow(er)s married less than two years may also self-petition.  The child of a qualifying widow or widower is also entitled to status as a derivative if accompanying or following to join the principal beneficiary.  See 9 FAM 502.2-2(B)d.(3) and e. for more on IV classification for widow(er)s and their derivative children.

(3)  Battered and/or Abused Spouse or Child of U.S. Citizen or LPR:  Section 40701 of the Violent Crime Control Act (Public Law 103-322), also known as the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA), signed into law on September 13, 1994, amended INA 204 to allow certain spouses and children of U.S. citizens and permanent resident aliens to self-petition for immediate relative (IR) and family second preference classification. Although it is anticipated that most applicants will seek adjustment of status, some aliens may apply for visas.  (See paragraph (b) below.)

(a)  Requirements for Battered/Abused Spouse or Child to Self-Petition:  The alien spouse or child who has been battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse or parent may file a petition for IR or family second preference classification if the:

(i)     Alien is residing in the United States with the spouse or parent;

(ii)    Alien is of good moral character;

(iii)    Alien may be classified as a spouse or child under INA 201(b)(2)(A)(i) or INA 203(a)(2)(A);

(iv)   Marriage was entered into in good faith;

(v)    Alien or the alien’s child has been battered by, or has been the subject of extreme cruelty perpetrated by, the alien’s spouse; and,

(vi)   Alien’s deportation would result in extreme hardship to the alien or the alien’s child.

(b)  Filing VAWA Self-Petitions:  A self-petition cannot be filed or accepted at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad. A self-petition also cannot be filed at a DHS Service office abroad; it must be filed at the DHS Vermont Service Center. The Vermont Service Center has been designated to handle all petitions filed by self-petitioning battered aliens. The Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, should be mailed to:

          DHS Vermont Service Center

          75 Lower Welden Street

          St. Albans, VT 05479-0001

          ATTN: Family Service Product Line (VAWA)

(c)  Priority Date of Self-Petition:  The priority date of a self-petition is the date on which the petition is properly filed, provided it is properly signed and executed, the required fee is attached, and it otherwise complies with 8 CFR 103.2.  If the alien is the beneficiary of an earlier-filed family-based visa petition by the abuser to accord the self-petitioner immigrant classification as his or her spouse or child, the earlier priority date may be assigned. 

(d)  Effect on Other Approved Petitions:  The approval of a self-petition has no effect on a relative petition.  A spouse or child may be both the beneficiary of a self-petition and the beneficiary of a relative visa petition filed by the abuser.  Qualified persons may seek immigrant visas based on either petition, whichever is most advantageous.

(e)  Spousal Self-Petitions Based on Abuse of Child:  A spouse may file a self-petition based on abuse committed against the spouse’s child born in wedlock, a stepchild, a legitimate child, a child born out of wedlock, or an adopted child.

9 FAM 502.1-2(D)  Changes to IV Classifications, Petitions

(CT:VISA-1;   11-18-2015)

a. Changes in Family or Relationship Status:  See 9 FAM 502.2-3(D) for additional information on automatic conversion of family preference petitions and 9 FAM 502.2 for additional information on family-based IV classifications.

(1)  Petitioner’s Naturalization (Family Second Preference Petition):

(a)  In the event of the petitioner's naturalization after approval of a family second petition but before visa issuance, in accordance with Department of Homeland Security regulations (8 CFR 204.2(i)(3)), the petition is automatically converted as of the date of the petitioner’s naturalization to accord immediate relative (IR) status under INA 201(b) for the spouse (automatically converted from F21 to IR1) or child (automatically converted from F22 to IR2), or first preference status under INA 203(a)(1) for an unmarried son or daughter (automatically converted from F24 to F11).

(b)  Proof of naturalization must be submitted to you when you consider the visa application and you must include it in the issued visa.  The petition need not be returned to USCIS for re-approval. If notification of the naturalization has been received from USCIS in the form of a letter, you must attach it to the petition.

(c) Automatic conversion of a petition is not authorized for an alien who is a derivative beneficiary (F23 or FX3) of a petition filed by a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) who subsequently becomes a U.S. citizen.  The principal beneficiary must file (and obtain USCIS approval of) a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (family second preference) upon the principal’s admission to the United States before the derivative alien may be granted a visa.

(2)  Petitioner’s Death (Widow(er)): 

(a)  USCIS regulations allow for the automatic conversion of a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130, to a Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, Form I-360, upon the petitioner’s death in the case of an immediate relative spouse (now widow(er)) of a U.S. citizen.  No further action is required on the part of USCIS to automatically convert the petition, nor does any revocation and reinstatement need to be performed. See 8 CFR 204.2(i)(1)(iv).

(b)  Widow(er)s married less than two years may also self-petition, and are included in the auto conversion regulation. Children of the widow(er) are also included on the widow(er)’s Form I-130/Form I-360 converted petition without the need for a separate I-360 or I-130 petition (see the 2010 FY DHS Appropriations Act, Public Law No 111-83, Section 568(c)).  See 9 FAM 502.1-2(C) for additional information on self-petitioning for widow(er)s, and 9 FAM 502.2-2(B) paragraph e. for more on the widow(er) classification.

(3)  Petitioner Killed in September 11, 2001 Terrorist Attack:  Under section 421(b)(1)(B)(i) of the USA PATRIOT Act, a petition approved for the spouse or child, son, or daughter of an alien killed in the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks must remain valid indefinitely and continues as if the petitioner had not died.  The beneficiary may retain his or her priority date.  See 9 FAM 502.7-4 for additional information on September 11-related provisions.

(4)  Battered/Abused Petition Conversion: 

(a)  A self-petition on behalf of a battered or abused child will be automatically converted and the priority date will be preserved in the following instances:

(i)     The approved self-petition for IR classification for a child of a U.S. citizen must be automatically converted to a first or third preference petition when the self-petitioner either reaches 21 years of age or marries; and

(ii)    The approved self-petition for second preference status for a child of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) must be automatically converted to a petition for classification as the unmarried son or daughter of a LPR when the unmarried self-petitioner reaches 21 years of age.

(b)  There is, however, no automatic upgrade of the second preference petition to IR classification if the abuser becomes a U.S. citizen, although the abused child can file a new self-petition for IR classification.  Renunciation of citizenship or abandonment of LPR status by the abuser will not affect the validity of an approved petition.  See 9 FAM 502.1-2(C) for additional information on filing VAWA self-petitions.

b. Changes in Employment Status:  See also 9 FAM 502.4 for additional information on employment-based IV classifications.

(1)  Change in Job Location:  Except for a Schedule A labor certification, which is valid anywhere in the United States, a labor certification is valid only for the area within normal commuting distance of the site of the original offer of employment.  (Any location within a Metropolitan Statistical Area is deemed to be within normal commuting distance.)  If there is a change in job location, the consular officer must return the petition to the DHS jurisdiction office for action, and the petitioner must file a new petition with the DHS Service Center having jurisdiction over the intended place of employment.

(2)  Change of Employer:  If the beneficiary of an approved petition changes employers, the consular officer should send the petition to the DHS jurisdictional office. DHS will reaffirm the validity of a previously approved petition only when there is a successorship in interest (i.e., when the business is merged, acquired, or purchased by another business).  In addition, the new employer must offer the same wages and working conditions, offer the beneficiary the same job as stated on the original labor certification, and must continue to operate the same type of business as the original employer.

(3)  Company Name Change:  A situation may arise whereby a petitioning business will have changed its name between the time a petition is approved and the date of the beneficiary's visa issuance.  In such instances, DHS does not need to review the petition or issue any further documentation if the only change is the change in the name of the company.  If the consular officer is satisfied that the evidence presented makes clear that only the company name has changed, as opposed to a change of ownership or company location, DHS need not be consulted. The visa must be annotated; e.g., "abc, inc. formerly xyz, inc."

c.  Conversion of Older Family-Based IV Petitions Based on Legislative Changes:

(1)  Family-Sponsored Petitions Approved Prior to 1965 Amendments:  Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, petitions approved in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 prior to the 1965 amendments were automatically converted to the new preference or immediate relative status in 1965.

(2)  Family-Sponsored Petitions Approved Prior to October 1, 1991:  Family-sponsored petitions approved under the Immigration and Nationality Act prior to October 1, 1991, automatically convert to the corresponding new family preference category.

(3)  See 9 FAM 502.2 for general information on family-based IV classifications.

d. Abandonment of LPR Status:  There is no legal restriction preventing a lawful permanent resident (LPR) from obtaining another immigrant visa in a different preference status in order to confer derivative status on a spouse or child.  There is also no requirement that the alien resident abandon their LPR status.

9 FAM 502.1-3  IV Classification Symbols

(CT:VISA-190;   09-28-2016)

A visa issued to an immigrant alien within one of the classes described below must bear an appropriate visa symbol to show the classification of the alien.

SYMBOL

CLASS

SECTION OF LAW

Immediate Relatives

IR1

Spouse of U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b).

IR2

Child of U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b).

IR3

Orphan Adopted Abroad by U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b) & INA 101(b)(1)(F).

IH3

Child from Hague Convention Country Adopted Abroad by U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b) & INA 101(b)(1)(G).

IR4

Orphan to be Adopted in U.S. by U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b) & INA 101(b)(1)(F).

IH4

Child from Hague Convention Country to be Adopted in U.S. by U.S. Citizen

INA 201(b) & INA 101(b)(1)(G).

IR5

Parent of U.S. Citizen at Least 21 Years of Age

INA 201(b).

CR1

Spouse of U.S. Citizen (Conditional Status)

INA 201(b) & 216.

CR2

Stepchild of U.S. Citizen (Conditional Status)

INA 201(b) & 216.

IW1

Certain Spouses of Deceased U.S. Citizens

INA 201(b).

IW2

Child of IW1

INA 201(b).

IB1

Self-petition Spouse of U.S. Citizen

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iii).

IB2

Self-petition child of U.S. Citizen

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv).

IB3

Child of IB1

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iii).

VI5

Parent of U.S. Citizen Who Acquired Permanent Resident Status Under the Virgin Islands Nonimmigrant Alien Adjustment Act

INA 201(b) & §2 of the Virgin Islands Nonimmigrant Alien Adjustment Act, (Pub. L.

97-271).

Vietnam Amerasian Immigrants

AM1

Vietnam Amerasian Principal

Section 584(b)(1)(A) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202) as amended.

AM2

Spouse or Child of AM1

Section 584(b)(1)(A) and 584(b)(1)(B) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202) as amended.

AM3

Natural Mother of AM1 (and Spouse or Child of Such Mother) or Person Who has Acted in Effect as the Mother, Father, or Next-of-Kin of AM1 (and Spouse or Child of Such Person)

Section 584(b)(1)(A) and 584(b)(1)(C) of the Foreign Operations, Export Financing, and Related Programs Appropriations Act, 1988 (as contained in section 101(e) of Public Law 100-202) as amended.

Special Immigrants

SB1

Returning Resident

INA 101(a)(27)(A).

SC1

Person Who Lost U.S. Citizenship by Marriage

INA 101(a)(27)(B) & 324(a).

SC2

Person Who Lost U.S. Citizenship by Serving in Foreign Armed Forces

INA 101(a)(27)(B) & 327.

SI1

Certain Aliens Employed by the U.S. Government in Iraq or Afghanistan as Translators or Interpreters

Section 1059 of Public Law 109-163 as amended by Public Law 110-36.

SI2

Spouse of SI1

Section 1059 of Public Law 109-163 as amended by Public Law 110-36.

SI3

Child of SI1

Section 1059 of Public Law 109–163 as amended by Public Law 110–36.

SM1

Alien Recruited Outside the United States Who Has Served or is Enlisted to Serve in the U.S. Armed Forces for 12 Years

INA 101(a)(27)(K).

SM2

Spouse of SM1

INA 101(a)(27)(K).

SM3

Child of SM1

INA 101(a)(27)(K).

SQ1

Certain Iraqis or Afghans Employed by or on Behalf of the U.S. Government

Section 602(b), Division F, Title VI, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Public Law 111–8 and Section 1244 of Public Law 110–181.

SQ2

Spouse of SQ1

Section 602(b), Division F, Title VI, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Public Law 111–8 and Section 1244 of Public Law 110–181.

SQ3

Child of SQ1

Section 602(b), Division F, Title VI, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Public Law 111–8 and Section 1244 of Public Law 110–181.

SU2

Spouse of U1

INA 245(m)(3) & INA 101(a)(15)(U)(ii).

SU3

Child of U1

INA 245(m)(3) & INA 101(a)(15)(U)(ii).

SU5

Parent of U1

INA 245(m)(3) & INA 101(a)(15)(U)(ii).

Family-Sponsored Preferences

Family 1st Preference

F11

Unmarried Son or Daughter of U.S. Citizen

INA 203(a)(1).

F12

Child of F11

INA 203(d) & 203(a)(1).

B11

Self-petition Unmarried Son or Daughter of U.S. Citizen

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) & INA 203(a)(1).

B12

Child of B11

INA 203(d), INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) & INA 203(a)(1).

Family 2nd Preference (Subject to Country Limitations)

F21

Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 203(a)(2)(A).

F22

Child of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 203(a)(2)(A).

F23

Child of F21 or F22

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(2)(A).

F24

Unmarried Son or Daughter of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 203(a)(2)(B).

F25

Child of F24

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(2)(B).

C21

Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 216.

C22

Stepchild of Alien Resident (Conditional)

INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 216.

C23

Child of C21 or C22 (Conditional)

INA 203(d), INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 216.

C24

Unmarried Son or Daughter of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

INA 203(a)(2)(B) & INA 216.

C25

Child of F24 (Conditional)

INA 203(d), INA 203(a)(2)(B) & INA 216.

B21

Self-petition Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(ii).

B22

Self-petition Child of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(iii).

B23

Child of B21 or B22

INA 203(d) & INA 204(a)(1)(B)(ii).

B24

Self-petition Unmarried Son or Daughter of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(iii).

B25

Child of B24

INA 203(d) & INA 204(a)(1)(B)(iii).

Family 2nd Preference (Exempt from Country Limitations)

FX1

Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 202(a)(4)(A) & INA 203(a)(2)(A).

FX2

Child of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 202(a)(4)(A) & INA 203(a)(2)(A).

FX3

Child of FX1 or FX2

INA 202(a)(4)(A), INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 203(d).

CX1

Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

INA 202(a)(4)(A), INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 216.

CX2

Stepchild of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

INA 202(a)(4)(A), INA 203(a)(2)(A) & INA 216.

CX3

Child of CX1 or CX2 (Conditional)

INA 202(a)(4)(A), INA 203(a)(2)(A), INA 203(d) & INA 216.

BX1

Self-petition Spouse of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(ii).

BX2

Self-petition Child of Lawful Permanent Resident

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(iii).

BX3

Child of BX1 or BX2

INA 204(a)(1)(B)(ii) & 203(d).

Family 3rd Preference

F31

Married Son or Daughter of U.S. Citizen

INA 203(a)(3).

F32

Spouse of F31

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(3).

F33

Child of F31

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(3).

C31

Married Son or Daughter of U.S. Citizen (Conditional)

INA 203(a)(3) & INA 216.

C32

Spouse of C31 (Conditional)

INA 203(d), INA 203(a)(3) & INA 216.

C33

Child of C31 (Conditional)

INA 203(d), INA 203(a)(3) & INA 216.

B31

Self-petition Married Son or Daughter of U.S. Citizen

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) & INA 203(a)(3).

B32

Spouse of B31

INA 203(d), INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) & INA 203(a)(3).

B33

Child of B31

INA 203(d), INA 204(a)(1)(A)(iv) & INA 203(a)(3).

Family 4th Preference

F41

Brother or Sister of U.S. Citizen at Least 21 Years of Age

INA 203(a)(4).

F42

Spouse of F41

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(4).

F43

Child of F41

INA 203(d) & INA 203(a)(4).

Employment-Based Preferences

Employment 1st Preference (Priority Workers)

E11

Alien with Extraordinary Ability

INA 203(b)(1)(A).

E12

Outstanding Professor or Researcher

INA 203(b)(1)(B).

E13

Multinational Executive or Manager

INA 203(b)(1)(C).

E14

Spouse of E11, E12, or E13

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(1)(A), INA 203(b)(1)(B) & INA 203(b)(1)(C).

E15

Child of E11, E12, or E13

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(1)(A), INA 203(b)(1)(B) & INA 203(b)(1)(C).

Employment 2nd Preference (Professionals Holding Advanced Degrees or Persons of Exceptional Ability)

E21

Professional Holding Advanced Degree or Alien of Exceptional Ability

INA 203(b)(2).

E22

Spouse of E21

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(2).

E23

Child of E21

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(2).

Employment 3rd Preference (Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers)

E31

Skilled Worker

INA 203(b)(3)(A)(i).

E32

Professional Holding Baccalaureate Degree

INA 203(b)(3)(A)(ii).

E34

Spouse of E31 or E32

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(3)(A)(i), INA 203(b)(3)(A)(ii).

E35

Child of E31 or E32

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(3)(A)(i) & INA 203(b)(3)(A)(ii).

EW3

Other Worker (Subgroup Numerical Limit)

INA 203(b)(3)(A)(iii).

EW4

Spouse of EW3

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(3)(A)(iii).

EW5

Child of EW3

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(3)(A)(iii).

Employment 4th Preference (Certain Special Immigrants)

BC1

Broadcaster in the U.S. employed by the International Broadcasting Bureau of the Broadcasting Board of Governors or a grantee of such organization

INA 101(a)(27)(M) & INA 203(b)(4).

BC2

Accompanying spouse of BC1

INA 101(a)(27)(M) & INA 203(b)(4).

BC3

Accompanying child of BC1

INA 101(a)(27)(M) & INA 203(b)(4).

SD1

Minister of Religion

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(I) & INA 203(b)(4).

SD2

Spouse of SD1

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(I) & INA 203(b)(4).

SD3

Child of SD1

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(I) & INA 203(b)(4).

SE1

Certain Employees or Former Employees of the U.S. Government Abroad

INA 101(a)(27)(D) & INA 203(b)(4).

SE2

Spouse of SE1

INA 101(a)(27)(D) & INA 203(b)(4).

SE3

Child of SE1

INA 101(a)(27)(D) & INA 203(b)(4).

SF1

Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government

INA 101(a)(27)(E) & INA  203(b)(4).

SF2

Spouse or Child of SF1

INA 101(a)(27)(E) & INA  203(b)(4).

SG1

Certain Former Employees of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone

INA 101(a)(27)(F) & INA  203(b)(4).

SG2

Spouse or Child of SG1

INA 101(a)(27)(F) & INA  203(b)(4).

SH1

Certain Former Employees of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government on April 1, 1979

INA 101(a)(27)(G) & INA  203(b)(4).

SH2

Spouse or Child of SH1

INA 101(a)(27)(G) & INA 203(b)(4).

SJ1

Certain Foreign Medical Graduates (Adjustments Only)

INA 101(a)(27)(H).

SJ2

Accompanying Spouse or Child of SJ1

INA 101(a)(27)(H) & INA 203(b)(4).

SK1

Certain Retired International Organization employees

INA 101(a)(27)(I)(iii) & INA 203(b)(4).

SK2

Spouse of SK1

INA 101(a)(27)(I)(iv) & INA 203(b)(4).

SK3

Certain Unmarried Sons or Daughters of an International Organization Employee

INA 101(a)(27)(I)(i) & INA 203(b)(4).

SK4

Certain Surviving Spouses of a deceased International Organization Employee

INA 101(a)(27)(I)(ii) & INA 203(b)(4).

SL1

Juvenile Court Dependent (Adjustment Only)

INA 101(a)(27)(J) & INA 203(b)(4).

SN1

Certain retired NATO6 civilians

INA 101(a)(27)(L) & INA 203(b)(4).

SN2

Spouse of SN1

INA 101(a)(27)(L) & INA 203(b)(4).

SN3

Certain unmarried sons or daughters of NATO6 civilian employees

INA 101(a)(27)(L) & INA 203(b)(4).

SN4

Certain surviving spouses of deceased NATO6 civilian employees

INA 101(a)(27)(L) & INA 203(b)(4).

SP

Alien Beneficiary of a petition or labor certification application filed prior to September 11, 2001, if the petition or application was rendered void due to a terrorist act of September 11, 2001. Spouse, child of such alien, or the grandparent of a child orphaned by a terrorist act of September 11, 2001

Section 421 of Public Law

107-56.

SR1

Certain Religious Workers

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) & (III) as amended  & INA 203(b)(4).

SR2

Spouse of SR1

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) & (III) as amended & INA 203(b)(4).

SR3

Child of SR1

INA 101(a)(27)(C)(ii)(II) & (III) as amended & INA 203(b)(4).

Employment 5th Preference (Employment Creation Conditional Status)

C51

Employment Creation OUTSIDE Targeted Areas

INA 203(b)(5)(A).

C52

Spouse of C51

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(5)(A).

C53

Child of C51

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(5)(A).

T51

Employment Creation IN Targeted Rural/High Unemployment Area

INA 203(b)(5)(B).

T52

Spouse of T51

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(5)(B).

T53

Child of T51

INA 203(d) & INA 203(b)(5)(B).

R51

Investor Pilot Program, Not in Targeted Area

INA 203(b)(5) & Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

R52

Spouse of R51

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(5) & Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

R53

Child of R51

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(5) & Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

I51

Investor Pilot Program, in Targeted Area

INA 203(b)(5) & Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

I52

Spouse of I51

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(5) & Section 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

I53

Child of I51

INA 203(d), INA 203(b)(5) & Section 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as amended.

Other Numerically Limited Categories

Diversity Immigrants

DV1

Diversity Immigrant

INA 203(c).

DV2

Spouse of DV1

INA 203(d) & INA 203(c).

DV3

Child of DV1

INA 203(d) & INA 203(c).

[Source: 22 CFR 42.11]