UNCLASSIFIED (U)

9 FAM 502 
Immigrant visa classifications

9 FAM 502.1

IV Classifications Overview

(CT:VISA-1907;   02-09-2024)
(Office of Origin:  CA/VO)

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-1653;   11-23-2022)

To be eligible to apply for an IV, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, U.S. LPR, 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 IVs, including family-based, employment-based, special IVs 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 below.

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

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

(CT:VISA-1314;   07-08-2021)

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

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

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. Derivatives – Overview:  A spouse or child acquired before the principal applicant’s admission to the United States or adjustment of status to LPR, or a child born of a marriage which existed before the principal applicant’s admission to the United States as an immigrant or adjustment of status, who is accompanying or following to join the principal, 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 applicant in the physical company of a principal applicant but also an applicant who is issued an IV within 6 months of:

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

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

(iii)    The date on which the principal applicant 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 applicant 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 applicant to obtain an NIV or IV and the priority date of the principal applicant if the applicant following to join has the required relationship with the principal applicant.  There is no statutory period during which the following-to-join applicant 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) below) or by entering a marriage.  There is no requirement that the following-to-join applicant must take up residence with the principal applicant to qualify for the visa.  The term “following to join” also applies to a spouse or child following to join a principal applicant who has adjusted status in the United States.

(b)  Spouse or Child Acquired Before Admission of Principal Applicant:  A spouse or child acquired before a principal applicant’s admission to the United States is entitled to derivative status and the priority date of the principal applicant, regardless of how much time may pass between the issuance of a visa to or admission into the United States of the principal applicant and the issuance of a visa to the spouse or child of such applicant and regardless of whether the spouse or child had been named in the IV application of the principal applicant.

(c)  Child Born After Admission of Principal Applicant:  A child born of a marriage which existed before the principal applicant was admitted to the United States is entitled to the principal applicant’s priority date because they were acquired before the principal applicant’s admission.

(d)  Spouse or Child Acquired After Admission of Principal Applicant:  A spouse or child acquired through a marriage which occurs after the admission of the principal applicant 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) after the principal applicant’s admission but was adopted and was a member of the principal applicant’s household before the adoptive parent’s admission to the United States, is considered to have been acquired before the principal applicant’s admission.

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

c.  Determining Derivative Status:  The principal applicant has the primary responsibility for establishing their LPR status.  Paragraphs 1 and 2 below address use of consular section records and other documentation to determine the principal applicant’s status, and paragraph 3 focuses on evidence of adjustment.  See 9 FAM 202.2-6 for additional information on verification of LPR status, and 9 FAM 202.2-7 for additional information on LPR documentation.

(1)  When Consular Section Records Exist:

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

(b)  In cases where the principal applicant has been issued a visa at post, you 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 applicant’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, you may wish to arrange an informal examination of the other members when the principal applies.  This will allow you 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 prevent or delay them in joining the principal.  See 9 FAM 504.9-5.

(2)  When Consular Section Record Does Not Exist:

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

(i)     The Principal's Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card:  Apart from a complete file at post, the principal applicant's Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card, is  the best evidence of LPR status.  The Form I-551 indicates the visa category and date of entry into the United States but an LPR 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.  You should not require the Form I-551 as a prerequisite for all following-to-join cases.  See 9 FAM 202.2-7(A) for additional information on LPRs with Permanent Resident cards (I-551s);

(ii)    The I-895, I-181, I-824 Forms:  The I-895, Attestation of Alien and Memorandum of Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence; and the 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 applicant) may document the principal applicant’s status;

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

(iv)   Principal Applicant's ADIT Stamp Showing Entry as an Immigrant:  When an immigrant enters the United States, DHS endorses their 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 LPR 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 202.2-7(B) for additional information on LPRs with valid ADIT stamps. 

(3)  When Principal Adjusts: 

(a)  In cases where the principal 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)), you should create a case record for the derivative applicants.  At a minimum, this record should include:

(i)     Name, date of birth, 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)   LPR’s registration number, date of admission for permanent residence, and visa classification.

(b)  When the principal in a preference status who acquires permanent resident status by adjustment under INA 245 indicates that they have family who will follow to join, DHS generally sends the I-895, Attestation of Alien and Memorandum of Creation of Record of Lawful Permanent Residence, to the consular office when the principal adjusts status.  If, however, the I-895 has not been received, you may verify the status of the principal in PCQS. 

d. Processing Derivative IV Cases:

(1)  Processing a derivative IV case is the same as processing the principal applicant's case after you have established the follow-to-join family member's relationship to the principal applicant and entitlement to derivative status.

(2)  Derivative beneficiaries should be namechecked in CLASS.  The fingerprints of applicants 14 years of age or older must be scanned.  See 9 FAM 303.5 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.  You 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 consular section has issued a visa to the principal applicant, you should retain as much pertinent information as possible on derivative beneficiaries who may apply later.  In cases where you receive DHS notification of the principal’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-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) permits an applicant for certain immigration benefits to retain classification as a child under the INA (i.e., under 21 and unmarried) even if they have reached the age of 21.

b. You must examine the following factors:

(1)  Applicability.  The CSPA applies only to certain visa classes and applicants (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(2) and (3)).

(2)  Age of the applicant.  The applicant must be under 21 years old at the time of petition filing.  The calculation of age for CSPA purposes depends on the visa class (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4)).

(3)  Marital status.  The CSPA does not change the requirement that a child must be unmarried (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(5)).

(4)  Petition conversion.  Conversions of the petition among visa classifications can affect visa availability and CSPA calculations.  You should take particular care when the petitioner of a family second preference case naturalizes (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)).   

(5)  Sought to acquire.  For some visa classes, the applicant must seek to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status within one year of visa availability (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7)). 

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

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. The CSPA was enacted into law on August 6, 2002.  It applies to applicants whose IV petitions were approved after enactment and to applicants with petitions approved before enactment who had not yet applied for permanent residence (either an IV application or an application for adjustment of status).  It applies to IV applications expressly specified in the statute, including immediate relatives, principal and derivative applicants in family and employment-based visa classifications, derivative applicants in diversity visa cases, and derivative applicants in asylee and refugee cases. 

b. For immediate relatives (IR), Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioners (IB), derivatives of widow(er)s (IW2), and asylee and refugee follow-to-join cases (V92/V93), if the applicant was under the age of 21 on the date of the petition filing, the applicant’s age is frozen as of the date of the petition filing.  There is no requirement for IR, IB, IW, or V92/V93 cases to seek to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status within one year of visa availability.  Thus, any IR, IB, or IW applicants who are under 21 on the date of the petition filing are children under the CSPA provided they are unmarried.  For IW cases created by the conversion of an I-130 petition to an I-360 petition, the filing date is the day the petition converted, not the filing date of the I-130 petition.  See 9 FAM 203.5-4(A) paragraph e(4) for specific guidance on V92/V93.

c.  For preference cases, including family preference under the VAWA (B22, B23, B25), employment-based preference, including special immigrant visa (SIV), and diversity visa (DV), the applicant’s CSPA age is calculated on the date that the visa became available (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4)(a)).  If the CSPA age is under 21 and the applicant seeks to acquire LPR status within one year of visa availability (see 9 FAM 502.1(D)(7)), the applicant is a child under the CSPA provided they are unmarried.

Immigrant Category

CSPA Age Determination

Does Sought to Acquire Requirement Apply?

Immediate Relatives (including VAWA IB2)

Age frozen on I-130/I-360 filing date (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph 1).

No

Derivatives of Widow(er)s (IW2)

Age frozen on I-360 filing date or date I-130 converted to I-360 (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph 1). 

No

Family-Sponsored Preference Principals and Derivatives (including VAWA B22, B23, and B25)

Calculated. 

True age on date of visa availability minus days petition pending (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph 2). 

For petitions filed as family preference, examine petition conversions carefully (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)).

For certain U.S. government employees (SE SIV), see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph 4). 

Yes

Employment-Based Preference Derivatives (including SIV other than SQ)

Calculated. 

True age on date of visa availability minus days petition pending (priority date may be different from petition filing date in employment-based cases) (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4)).

Yes

Diversity Immigrant Visa Derivatives (DV3)

Calculated.

True age on date of visa availability minus days between the lottery entry start date and the notification date of entrants having been selected from the applicant’s true age (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph 3). 

Yes

Follow-to-join Asylees (V92)

Frozen on the date the principal asylee parent’s Form I-589 is filed.  See 9 FAM 203.5-4(A) paragraph e(4).

No

Follow-to-join Refugees (V93)

Frozen on the date the principal refugee parent’s Form I-590 is filed (the date of the parent’s interview with USCIS).  See 9 FAM 203.5-4(A) paragraph e(4).

No

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

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. The CSPA does not apply to NIVs (e.g., K, U, SU-3, etc.). 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 302.9-7(D)(1));

(4)  Cuban Adjustment Act;

(5)  Chinese Student Protection Act; and

(6)  Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) classification, see 9 FAM 502.5-7)SIJ classified noncitizens are independently protected from aging out by Section 235(d)(6) of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, Pub. L. 110-457, 122 Stat. 5044, 5080 (December 23, 2008)).

(7)  You may send an AO to L/CA if you are unsure whether CSPA applies to a particular visa classification.

b. 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 applicant:

(1)  who before August 6, 2002, had a final decision on an IV application or an application for adjustment of status based on a petition in which the applicant claimed to be a child; and

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

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4)  Calculation of CSPA Age

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. Calculation by Visa Class:

(1)  Immediate Relatives (IR), Derivatives of Widow(er)s (IW2) and Derivatives of VAWA Self-Petitioner (IB2) Cases:  If the beneficiary is under the age of 21 on the date of the petition filing (or conversion to I-360, as applicable), the beneficiary's CSPA age is frozen as of the date of the petition filing.  Mathematically the beneficiary cannot age out.   The beneficiary will qualify as a child so long as the beneficiary remains unmarried.  There is no requirement in IR, IW, or IB cases to seek to acquire LPR status within one year.

(2) Family and Employment Preference Cases:  The “CSPA age” is determined on the date that the visa became available (i.e., the date on which the priority date became current in the Final Action Dates chart in the Visa Bulletin or the date on which the petition was approved, whichever came later).  For cases in which an LPR petitioner filed a second preference petition for a child (F2A, visa symbol F22 or FX2) and then naturalized after filing the petition, please see the guidance below at 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6).  The CSPA age is the result of subtracting the number of days that the petition was pending with USCIS (from date of receipt to date of approval, including any period of administrative review such as motions and appeals to USCIS) from the true age of the applicant on the date that the visa became available.  Administrative review does not include time spent evaluating consular returns.  While the priority date often is the same as the petition filing date, that is not always the case.  For example, in third-preference employment cases that require a permanent labor certification, the priority date is the date the labor certification was filed.  Using the priority date as a proxy for the petition filing date will result in an incorrect CSPA calculation.  Therefore, in all cases, only the petition filing and petition approval dates should be used to calculate the amount of time to be deducted from the applicant’s age.  Time waiting for a labor certification to be approved or for a priority date to become current (i.e., a visa to become available) is not included.  See paragraph 4 below for certain U.S. government employees other than special immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan (SE-SIV).

CSPA Age Calculation for Preference Categories (excluding cases originally F2A where petitioner naturalized)

 

Step 1

Step 2

 

(3)  Diversity Visa (DV) Cases:  The period during which the “petition is pending” is necessarily different than cases involving a petition filed with USCIS.  The time that a DV petition is pending is calculated by using the first day on which DV program entries can be submitted for the program year in which the principal applicant qualified (i.e., the petition filing date) and the date on which notifications that entrants had been selected become available (i.e., petition approval date).  Consular officers can access this information from the annual DV ALDAC or from the DV program instructions published on travel.state.gov. (While the specific dates will change for every program year, the start of the entry period is usually in October, and the entrants are notified that their entry was selected around May of the following year.)  The time that a DV petition is pending should be subtracted from the derivative applicant’s age on “the date the visa becomes available” to the principal applicant.  The date a visa becomes available for a DV case is the first day on which the principal applicant’s rank selection number is current for visa processing as indicated in the DV chart in the Visa Bulletin.

CSPA Age Calculation for Diversity Visas

 

Step 1

Step 2

(4).Certain U.S. Government Special Immigrant Visa (SE-SIV) Cases:  For these employees (other than SQ and SI special immigrants from Iraq and Afghanistan), the CSPA age is the result of subtracting the number of days that the petition was pending with post, if any, from the true age of the applicant on the date that the visa became available.  The time a petition is pending is the period between the applicant's filing of a properly completed Form DS-1884 and the consular officer's signature at the top of Form DS-1884, which signifies approval of the Form.  The derivative child applicant must seek to acquire LPR status (e.g., file the DS-260) within a year of visa availability to lock in their CSPA age.  If the category retrogresses prior to visa issuance, the applicant may still submit the DS-260 within one year of the original visa availability but should not pursue any other steps toward the visa application until the case is again current.  See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7).  The date a visa becomes available for an SIV case is determined as follows: 

(a)  If the fourth preference employment-based category is "current" (indicated with a “C” in the Visa Bulletin and meaning that numbers are authorized for issuance to all qualified applicants), the visa will be available to the applicant once the consular officer approves the Form DS-1884.  In these cases, any children determined in accordance with the CSPA to be 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 and remain unmarried. 

(b)  If the fourth preference employment-based category is oversubscribed, the applicant’s visa will become available when their priority date is earlier than the final action date in the Visa Bulletin (as would be the case for any other preference visa category  or when the DS-1884 is approved, whichever comes later.  

b. Visa Availability:  To determine when a visa becomes available (or current) in a case where the petition was approved, you need to refer to the Final Action Dates chart in the monthly Visa Bulletin by the applicant's priority date, preference category, and country of chargeability.  If a category is oversubscribed, then the visa becomes available on the first day of the month in which the applicant's priority date is earlier than the cut-off date listed in the applicant’s preference category and country of chargeability in the Final Action Dates chart.  If a category is not oversubscribed (indicated by “C” in the Final Action Dates chart in the Visa Bulletin), then a visa becomes available on the same date when the petition is approved.  In addition to looking in the monthly Visa Bulletin, officers may access the Comprehensive Lists of Final Action Dates on the Visa Bulletin main page to view historical Final Action Dates.  The comprehensive lists are helpful when determining when an applicant had a full year of visa availability in order to meet the “seek to acquire” requirement.  See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6) and (7).  If an applicant benefits from both the 45-day provision of the USA PATRIOT Act and the age-out protection in the CSPA, you should apply both statutes to the advantage of the beneficiary. See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(9) below. 

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(5)  Impact of Marriage or Divorce on CSPA

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

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

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(6)  Conversion of Petition Status

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

Whether an applicant is a child under the CSPA 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.  Petition conversions in general are addressed in 9 FAM 502.2-3(D).

(1)  Visa Classification Under an IR Category Depends on Age on the Filing Date:  For IR, IW, and IB cases, if the beneficiary is under the age of 21 on the date of the petition filing (or conversion to I-360 for IW), then the beneficiary will qualify as a child if the beneficiary remains unmarried.  There is no requirement to seek to acquire LPR status within one year of visa availability for IR, IW, and IB cases.

(2)  Visa Classification Under a Preference Category:

(a)  For petitions filed for a beneficiary as the child of an LPR (F2A, visa symbol F22 or FX2) where the petitioner naturalized, petition conversion is determined by considering the beneficiary’s age at the time of naturalization.  If the F2A beneficiary’s true age was under 21 on the date the petitioner naturalized, then the visa category would automatically convert to the immediate relative category as the child of a U.S. citizen (IR2).  As above, the beneficiary will qualify as a child in the IR2 classification so long as the beneficiary remains unmarried.  There is no seek to acquire requirement for the IR2 classification.  If the F2A beneficiary’s true age was over 21 on the date the petitioner naturalized, then the petition will automatically convert to the first family preference category (F1) or the third family preference category (F3) if the beneficiary marries after the naturalization of the petitioner.  In such instances, the beneficiary will retain the priority date.  Because of two appellate court decisions (Tovar v. Sessions, 882 F.3d 895 (9th Cir. 2018) and Cuthill v. Blinken, 990 F.3d 272 (2d Cir. 2021)), however, there is an exception for cases in which the petitioner resided in a jurisdiction in the Second or Ninth Circuit at the time of naturalization or at the time of immigrant visa processing.

(i)     This exception applies for a second preference petition filed for a child of an LPR (F2A, visa symbol F22 or FX2) where (a) the petitioner naturalizes after filing the petition, (b) the beneficiary’s true age is over 21 at the time of naturalization, and (c) the petitioner resides at the time of naturalization or at the time of immigrant visa processing within the jurisdiction of the Second Circuit or Ninth Circuit – Alaska, Arizona, California, Connecticut, Hawaii, Idaho, Montana, Nevada, New York, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Guam, or the Northern Mariana Islands.  If an F2A visa had been available before the petitioner naturalized and if the applicant had locked in their CSPA age when the F2A visa became available by timely seeking to acquire, then the CSPA age was already “locked in” and the petition would convert to IR2 on that basis.  Otherwise, you will calculate the CSPA age by using the date of the petitioner's naturalization as the date a visa became available, and then use the CSPA age to determine to which category the petition will convert.  First, the CSPA age is calculated by subtracting the number of days that the petition was pending with USCIS (from date of receipt to date of approval) from the true age of the applicant on the date that the petitioner naturalized.  Second, use the date of the petitioner's naturalization as the date of visa availability for purposes of determining whether the applicant sought to acquire LPR status within one year of the date of visa availability (i.e., the date of naturalization).  For example, if the applicant’s CSPA-adjusted age is under 21 at the time of the petitioner’s naturalization and the applicant already sought to acquire LPR status either before naturalization or within 12 months of the petitioner naturalizing, then the petition will automatically convert to the IR2 category and will stay in the IR2 category unless the beneficiary marries.  If the applicant’s CSPA-adjusted age is under 21 at the time of the petitioner’s naturalization and the applicant has not yet sought to acquire LPR status but there is still time for the applicant to seek to acquire LPR status within one year of visa availability (i.e., the date of naturalization), then the petition will automatically convert to the IR2 category if the applicant timely seeks to acquire LPR status.  If, however, the applicant fails to seek to acquire LPR status within one year of the visa availability, the petition will convert back to a family preference category (F1 or F3). 

(ii)    To determine whether to apply the guidance above, you should request proof of naturalization if it has not already been provided.  In addition, you should determine whether the petitioner resided in a Second or Ninth Circuit jurisdiction at the time of naturalization or at the time of immigrant visa processing by reviewing the petitioner's address as listed in the case documents, including the petition, DS-260 application, and current tax returns.  If there is a discrepancy in the address in the documents, you should ask for the petitioner's current address.  If the petitioner is currently residing overseas, you may inquire where the petitioner resided at the time of naturalization.  You should generally accept a petitioner or beneficiary's statement as to the petitioner's residence at the time of naturalization or at the time of immigrant visa processing.

(iii)    If you have any questions regarding the petitioner’s claim of residence and/or any questions about whether the above exception applies, you may submit an AO request to L/CA.

(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.  To request an opt-out on behalf of an applicant, you should send an email, which only includes the receipt number and individual’s name in the subject line, to the following automated inbox: opt-out@uscis.dhs.gov.  You do not need to submit any supporting documents for the email opt-out request.  You will then receive an automated response approving the request.  Only consular officers or personnel at the National Visa Center may send the email, which should be from their official state.gov email address.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7)  Sought to Acquire LPR Status Provision

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. In family and employment preference, DV and SIV cases, the applicant must seek to acquire LPR status within one year of a visa becoming available to benefit from CSPA age-reduction calculation, absent extraordinary circumstances (see paragraph c below).  Pay careful attention to cases that have retrogressed or converted from the original visa class at any point (even if they have reverted to the original class), as a visa may have become available multiple times during the life of the petition  The seek to acquire requirement does not apply in IR, IW, or IB cases.  An applicant may satisfy the seek to acquire requirement by any of the following:

(1)  Filing an application for an immigrant visa (Form DS-260) by the applicant. The filing of a Form DS-260 by a principal applicant does not satisfy the seek to acquire requirement for a derivative applicant.  The applicant may have submitted multiple DS-260s; you can view the earlier submissions by reviewing the "previous submissions" section at the bottom of the CEAC DS-260 form in CCD. 

(2)  Filing an Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition (Form I-824) on the applicant’s behalf.  The filing of the Form I-824 by a principal applicant in the United States who is applying or has applied to adjust status will satisfy the seek to acquire requirement for a follow-to-join derivative.  

(3)  Filing an Application to Adjust Status (Form I-485) by the applicant. The filing of a Form I-485 by a principal applicant in the United States does not satisfy the sought to acquire requirement for a derivative applicant.   However, the filing of a Form I-485 by the applicant whose age is to be adjusted will satisfy the sought to acquire requirement, even if the application was later denied or abandoned, prompting the need to apply for a visa, or if the applicant opted to apply for an immigrant visa with the Department of State rather than apply to adjust status with USCIS. 

(4)  Filing an Affidavit of Support under Section 213A of the INA (Form I-864) provided the applicant is listed on the Affidavit of Support.  The date of filing, which may differ from the signature date, is visible in PiVOT.  If there were multiple I-864s filed with NVC, with only the latest appearing in eDP, post should ask the applicant to submit a copy of any I-864 filed with NVC that listed the applicant. 

(5) Payment of the Form I-864 fee to NVC only if the applicant is listed on the Affidavit of Support filed with the NVC at any time.  In other words, a Form I-864 fee paid within one year of a visa becoming available satisfies the seek to acquire requirement provided the applicant is listed on the Affidavit of Support filed with the NVC regardless of when the Affidavit of Support was filed with the NVC. 

(6) Payment of the DS-260 fee (including rejected fee payments).  If there are any questions about whether a fee was paid while a case was at NVC, particularly in cases that went into termination, post should email NVCPost@state.gov.

(7) Any other actions that the consular officer believes may satisfy the seek to acquire requirement (must request an AO from L/CA).

b. INA 203(h) requires that an applicant seek to acquire LPR status within one year, not that the applicant acquire such status within one year.  For example, if the applicant files a Form DS-260 but has their IV refused but the ground of refusal can be overcome, or if the applicant is the beneficiary of a 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.

c. Applicants who fail to fulfill the sought to acquire requirement within 1 year of visa availability may still be able to benefit from CSPA if they can establish that their failure to meet the requirement was the result of "extraordinary circumstances."  The applicant must demonstrate that:

ˇ         The circumstances were not created by the applicant through his or her own action or inaction;

ˇ         The circumstances directly affected the applicant’s failure to seek to acquire within the 1-year period; and

ˇ         The delay was reasonable under the circumstances.

    You must request an AO from L/CA to confirm a finding that extraordinary circumstances exist.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(8)  Retrogression of Application Final Action Dates

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. An applicant must have one full year of visa availability to seek to acquire LPR status.  If a visa becomes unavailable within the one-year period and the applicant does not seek to acquire within that limited time frame, then the applicant has another full year to seek to acquire once a visa becomes available again, provided the applicant is still unmarried and the CSPA age is under 21 at that time.  The applicant’s age is calculated based on the date that the visa becomes available again.  A visa may become unavailable because it retrogresses (moves backward in time) in the Final Action Dates chart in the Visa Bulletin or because visa numbers become unavailable in a particular category (indicated by “U” in the Final Action Dates chart).  A visa may also become unavailable if a petition converts to a category with a longer wait time (e.g., F1 converts to F3) or if the petition is revoked (e.g., automatic revocation because of death of petitioner). 

b. If a visa availability date retrogresses or otherwise become unavailable before the visa had been available for one full year, any actions taken within one year of the visa becoming available the first time 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 period, provided the applicant is still unmarried and the CSPA age is under 21 at that time. 

c.  For 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 their DS-260 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, you would calculate the CSPA age as of June 1, 2015.

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

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

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. You must override the age 21 final action date (cutoff date) in the IV software 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 applicant’s age under the CSPA (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(4) paragraph e above).  The IV system does not permit setting both the CSPA and PATRIOT indicator simultaneously.  If both apply, you should set the CSPA indicator and explain in case notes your calculation, including that the applicant benefits from both acts.

c.  Any consular section 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.

9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(10)  Consular Processing in CSPA Cases – Advisory Opinions

(CT:VISA-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. The Department recognizes the complexity of the CSPA.   

b. If you have any questions about the applicability of the CSPA you may submit an AO to L/CA.  Any such requests should include the following information:

(1)  The case number;

(2)  The applicant's name and date of birth;

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

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

(5)  The priority date of the petition;

(6)  The date the petition was filed;

(7)  The date the petition was approved; and

(8)  Date and particulars regarding the applicant's efforts to seek to acquire or the extraordinary circumstances that prevented the applicant from timely seeking to acquire (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(7) paragraph c).

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-1529;   04-12-2022)

Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, Public Law 103-322, sec. 40701 (also known as the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 (VAWA)); Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 (VAWA 2000), Public Law 106-386; Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 (VAWA 2005), Public Law 109-162; Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013 (VAWA 2013), Public Law 113-4; 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-1855;   10-23-2023)

An applicant is entitled to immigrant classification if:

(1)  The applicant is the beneficiary of an approved petition according immediate relative or preference status;

(2)  Has satisfied you that they are entitled to special immigrant status under INA(101)(a)(27) (A) or (B);

(3)  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

(4)  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-1855;   10-23-2023)

a. Petitions and Entitlement to IV Status:  You must not issue an IV without receipt from DHS of an approved immigrant petition.  The approval of a petition under INA 204 is establishes prima facie entitlement to status.  The validity of the relationship between the petitioner and the applicant beneficiary, familial or employer and/or employee, is presumed to exist.  However, the approved petition does not relieve the applicant of the burden of establishing visa eligibility.  You should confirm that the facts claimed in the petition are true during the visa interview.  Remember that USCIS interacts solely with the petitioner; the interview is the first point during the petition-based visa process where a USG representative can interact with the beneficiary of the petition.  Additionally, you benefit from cultural and local knowledge that adjudicators at USCIS do not possess, making it easier to spot misrepresentation in qualifications.  See 9 FAM 504.2 for additional information on IV 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 applicant 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)(2) 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 applicant immigrates or adjusts status.

(3)  See 9 FAM 502.1-2(D) below 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 Applicants of extraordinary ability (see 9 FAM 502.4-2);

(b)  E2 Applicants 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) below);

(f)   Battered and/or Abused Spouse, Intended Spouse, or Former Spouse; or Child of a U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent Resident; or Battered and/or Abused Parent of a U.S. Citizen who is 21 years of age or older (see 9 FAM 502.1-2(C) paragraph c(3) below); and

(g)  Spouse, child or adult son or daughter of an LPR killed in the September 11 attacks (see 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(8) above and 9 FAM 502.1-2(D) paragraph a(3) below).

(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) if the spouse:

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

(ii)    Was not legally separated when the spouse died;

(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 Applicant Relative, filed on the widow(er)’s behalf by the U.S. citizen spouse before their 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) paragraphs d(3) and e for more on IV classification for widow(er)s and their derivative children.

(3)  Battered and/or Abused Spouse, Intended Spouse, or Former 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 applicants to self-petition for immediate relative (IR) and family second preference classification.  The Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000 removed the requirement that self-petitioners be married to the abuser at the time of filing and created a definition of “intended spouse.” The Violence Against Women and Department of Justice Reauthorization Act of 2005 created self-petitioning provisions for abused parents of U.S. citizens 21 years of age or older.  See paragraph (b) below.

(a)  Requirements for Battered/Abused Self-Petitioner:  The applicant spouse, intended spouse, or former spouse; or child who has been battered by, or subjected to extreme cruelty committed by, a U.S. citizen or permanent resident relative; or the parent of a U.S. citizen son or daughter 21 years of age or older may file a petition for IR or family second preference classification if the:

(i)     Applicant is residing, or has resided in the past with the abusive U.S. citizen or LPR;

(ii)    Applicant is of good moral character;

(iii)    Applicant is eligible for immigrant classification as an immediate relative or under a family-based preference category;

(iv)   Marriage was entered into in good faith (for self-petitioning spouses only); and

(v)    Applicant was subjected to battery, or extreme cruelty perpetrated by the U.S. citizen or LPR during the qualifying relationship (self-petitioning spouses may also be eligible based on the battery or extreme cruelty inflicted on their 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 applicants.  The Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant, should be mailed to:

          USCIS Vermont Service Center

          38 River Road

          Essex Junction 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, if it is properly signed and executed, the required fee is attached, and it otherwise complies with 8 CFR 103.2.  If the applicant is the beneficiary of an earlier-filed family-based visa petition by the abuser to accord the self-petitioner immigrant classification, 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.  An applicant 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 IVs 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-1855;   10-23-2023)

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 DHS 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 adjudicate 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 applicant who is a derivative beneficiary (F23 or FX3) of a petition filed by an LPR who then 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 applicant may be granted a visa.

(2)  Petitioner’s Death (Widow(er)): 

(a)  USCIS regulations allow for the automatic conversion of a Form I-130, to a Form I-360, Petition for Amerasian, Widow(er), or Special Immigrant 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) above 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 a beneficiary 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 their priority date.  See 9 FAM 502.1-1(D)(8) above 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 an 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) above 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, you 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, you 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:  On occasion, a petitioning business may change its name between the date 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 you are 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 Before 1965 Amendments:  Form I-130 petitions approved in accordance with the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1952 before the 1965 amendments were automatically converted to the new preference or immediate relative status in 1965.

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

(3)  See 9 FAM 502.2, Family-Based IV Classification for general information.

d. Abandonment of LPR Status:  There is no legal restriction preventing an LPR from obtaining another IV in a different preference status to confer derivative status on a spouse or child.  There is also no requirement that the resident abandon their LPR status.

9 FAM 502.1-3  IV Classification Symbols

(CT:VISA-1907;   02-09-2024)

a. A visa issued to an IV applicant within one of the classes described below must bear an appropriate visa symbol to show the classification of the applicant.  The symbol must be inserted in the space provided on the visa.  The following visa symbols must be used:

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) & INA 216

CR2

Child of U.S. Citizen (Conditional Status)

INA 201(b) & INA 216

IW1

Certain Spouses of Deceased U.S. Citizens

INA 201(b)

IW2

Child of IW1

INA 201(b)

IBI

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)

IB5

Self-petition Parent of U.S. Citizen

INA 204(a)(1)(A)(vii)

VI5

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

INA 201(b) & Section 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 Pub. L. 100-102) 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 Pub. L. 100-102) 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 Pub. L. 100-102) 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) & INA 324(a).

SC2

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

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

SI1

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

Section 1059 of Pub. L. 109-163, as amended.

SI2

Spouse of SI1

Section 1059 of Pub. L. 109-163, as amended.

SI3

Child of SI1

Section 1059 of Pub. L.109–163, as amended.

SM1

Person 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, Pub. L. 111–8, as amended and Section 1244 of Pub. L. 110–181, as amended.

SQ2

Spouse of SQ1

Section 602(b), Division F, Title VI, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Pub. L. 111–8, as amended and Section 1244 of Pub. L. 110–181, as amended.

SQ3

Child of SQ1

Section 602(b), Division F, Title VI, Omnibus Appropriations Act of 2009, Pub. L. 111–8, as amended and Section 1244 of Pub. L. 110–181, as amended.

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(b) & INA 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)(i).

Family 2nd Preference (Subject to Per-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

Child of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

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

C23

Child of C21 or C22 (Conditional)

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

C24

Unmarried Son or Daughter of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

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

C25

Child of C24 (Conditional)

INA 203(a)(2)(B), INA 203(d), & 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 Per-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

Child of Lawful Permanent Resident (Conditional)

INA 202(a)(4), 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 203(d) & INA 204(a)(1)(B)(ii).

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

F43

Child of F41

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

Employment-Based Preferences

Employment 1st Preference (Priority Workers)

E11

Person 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 Person of Exceptional Ability

INA 203(b)(2).

E22

Spouse of E21

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

E23

Child of E21

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

Employment 3rd Preference (Skilled Workers, Professionals, or 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(b)(3)(A)(i), INA 203(b)(3)(A)(ii), INA 203(d).

E35

Child of E31 or E32

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

EW3

Other Worker (Subgroup Numerical Limit)

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

EW4

Spouse of EW3

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

EW5

Child of EW3

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

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 Employee or Former Employee 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

Former Employee 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

Former Employee of the U.S. Government in the Panama Canal Zone (Panamanian National)

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

Former Employee of the Panama Canal Company or Canal Zone Government (Five Years of Service)

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

Foreign Medical Graduate (Adjustment Only)

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

SJ2

Spouse or Child of SJ1

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

SK1

Retired International Organization Employee

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

Unmarried Son or Daughter of SK1

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

SK4

Surviving Spouse 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

Retired NATO6 Civilian Employee

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

SN2

Spouse of SN1

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

SN3

Unmarried Son or Daughter of SN1

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

SN4

Surviving Spouse of Deceased NATO6 Civilian Employee

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

SP

Beneficiary of a Petition or Labor Certification Application Filed Prior to September 11, 2001, if the Petition or Application was Rendered Void Due to Terrorist Acts of September 11, 2001, or the Spouse, Child of such Beneficiary, or the Grandparent of a Child Orphaned by a Terrorist Act of September 11, 2001

Section 421 of Public Law

107-56.

SR1

Religious Worker

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).

SS1

Surviving Spouse or Child of an Employee of the United States Government Abroad

INA 101(a)(27)(D)(ii)

Employment 5th Preference (Employment Creation Conditional Status) (Petitions Filed Before March 15, 2022)

C51

Employment Creation, Outside Targeted Area

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

C52

Spouse of C51

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

C53

Child of C51

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

T51

Employment Creation in Targeted Rural/High Unemployment Area

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

T52

Spouse of T51

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

T53

Child of T51

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

R51

Regional Center 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 (Pub. L. 102-395), as amended.

R52

Spouse of R51

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

R53

Child of R51

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

I51

Regional Center Program, Target Area

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

I52

Spouse of I51

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

I53

Child of I51

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

Employment 5th Preference (Employment Creation Conditional Status) (Petitions Filed On or After March 15, 2022)

NU1

Investor in Non-Regional Center, Unreserved

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 drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NU2

Spouse of NU1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Public Law 102–395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NU3

Child of NU1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102–395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).  

RU1

Investor in Regional Center, Unreserved

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RU2

Spouse of RU1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RU3

Child of RU1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NR1

Investor in Non-Regional Center, Set Aside - Rural

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NR2

Spouse of NR1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NR3

Child of NR1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NH1

Investor in Non-Regional Center, Set Aside – High Unemployment

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NH2

Spouse of NH1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

NH3

Child of NH1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RR1

Investor in Regional Center, Set Aside - Rural

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RR2

Spouse of RR1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RR3

Child of RR1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RH1

Investor in Regional Center, Set Aside – High Unemployment

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RH2

Spouse of RH1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RH3

Child of RH1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RI1

Investor in Regional Center, Set Aside - Infrastructure

INA 203(b)(5), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RI2

Spouse of RI1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395),as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

RI3

Child of RI1

INA 203(b)(5), INA 203(d), Sec. 610 of the Departments of Commerce, Justice, and State, the Judiciary and Related Agencies Appropriations Act, 1993 (Pub. L. 102-395), as drafted, & Division BB of the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2022 (Pub. L. 117-103).

Other Categories

Diversity Immigrants

DV1

Diversity Immigrant

INA 203(c).

DV2

Spouse of DV1

INA 203(c) &  203(d).

DV3

Child of DV1

INA 203(c) & 203(d).

[Source: 22 CFR 42.11 (74 FR 61521, Nov. 25, 2009, as amended at 79 FR 32482, June 5, 2014, as amended further at 88 FR 45068, July 14, 2023]

 

b. Government Employee Immigrant Visas under Sec. 5104 of the 2024 NDAA (Public Law 118-31, previously known as the "GRATEFUL Act"):    

On December 22, 2023, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Public Law 118-31) was signed into law.  A visa issued to an IV applicant pursuant to Section 5104 of the Act for whom a visa is not otherwise immediately available under INA 203(b)(4), should bear the appropriate visa classification symbol, in accordance with the following:

SYMBOL

CLASS

SECTION OF LAW

GS1

Surviving Spouse or Child of Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad

INA 101(a)(27)(D)(ii), Sec. 5104 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Pub. L. 118-31), & Sec. 203(d) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, 1997 (Pub. L. 105-100) as amended.

GV1

Certain Employee/Former Employee of the U.S. Government Abroad

INA 101(a)(27)(D)(i), INA 203(b)(4), Sec. 5104 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Pub. L. 118-31), & Sec. 203(d) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, 1997 (Pub. L. 105-100) as amended.

GV2

Spouse of GV1

INA 101(a)(27)(D)(i), INA 203(b)(4), Sec. 5104 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Pub. L. 118-31), & Sec. 203(d) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, 1997 (Pub. L. 105-100) as amended.

GV3

Child of GV1

INA 101(a)(27)(D)(i), INA 203(b)(4), Sec. 5104 of the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2024 (Pub. L. 118-31), & Sec. 203(d) of the Nicaraguan Adjustment and Central American Relief Act, 1997 (Pub. L. 105-100) as amended.

c. IV Classification Summary Chart:  The IV Classification Summary Chart provides a reference summary of IV classifications, legal and statutory authorities, and FAM section for each classification.

UNCLASSIFIED (U)