Immediate Relatives

Immediate relatives consist of: (a) spouse of a U.S. citizen, (b) unmarried child below 21 of a U.S. citizen parent, (c) stepchild of a U.S. citizen (as long as the marriage was before the child turns 18), (d) parent of a U.S. son or daughter who is at least 21 years of age.

The visa is immediately available to the immediate relative of a U.S. citizen. The process for an immediate relative who is physically present in the United States who was inspected at the time of admission is rather quick because the immigrant petition and application can be filed concurrently (adjustment of status). The immediate relative visa applicant who is outside of the U.S. does not need to wait for a priority date to be reached before becoming eligible for visa processing at the U.S. Consulate. There is no quota in the immediate relative category.

Individuals who entered without inspection by crossing the border or holders of C or D visas cannot apply for adjustment of status within the U.S., unless they are grandfathered under Section 245(i) of the Immigration and Nationality Act. Those who are not Section 245(i) eligible must exit the U.S. and apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. Consulate abroad. Oftentimes, these applicants are also barred from returning as a result of prior lengthy overstay or grounds of inadmissibility such as criminal convictions that may exist. Under these circumstances, the visa applicant is barred from entering the U.S. and must apply for a waiver in order to be able to return than the entire period within which they are barred from returning.

Manner must be made in good faith.


These beneficiaries fall under the immediate relative category.


Present in the United States as a K-1 Fiance(e)
As soon as marriage occurs to the petitioner, a K-1 applicant should apply for adjustment. Under a K-1 visa, an applicant is required to marry 90 days of their admission. A failure to marry will deem the K-1 applicant removable from the United States and they cannot adjust through any other means.

Present in the United States as K-2, the Minor Child of a K-1 Fiance(e)
A K-2 minor child of a K-1 should seek adjustment of status at the same time as their parent (K-1) since the reason to adjust depends on that parent’s eligibility to adjust.

Adjustment as a K-3, Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
Visa adjustment can be sought for a K-3 as soon as they enter the United States. K-3 visa holders can only seek adjustment of status based on their marriage to the U.S. citizen spouse who also petitioned for K-3 status for them.

Adjustment as a K-4, Child of the K-3 Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
A K-4 child should seek adjustment of status as soon as their K-3 parent seeks adjustment of status. A K-4 child can only seek adjustment of status on the basis of the marriage of their K-3 parent to his/her U.S. citizen spouse or the stepparent-child relationship this marriage caused and upon which their I-130 is based.


There are two types of conditional residents who must file the application for the removal of the condition on their status as residents of the United States. This application must be timely filed within 90 days prior to the expiration of the conditional residency. There must be a valid explanation for applications that are filed late.

The foreign citizen spouse of a U.S. citizen who received the status prior to the second anniversary of the marriage is initially granted conditional residency for 2 years. Pursuant to Section 216 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, the spouses must jointly and timely file the petition to remove the condition. In certain situations, a waiver of the joint petition may be filed.

An entrepreneur who receives the conditional residency pursuant to an investment under the EB-5 program is also required to submit an application to remove the condition. Here, the entrepreneur must prove the creation of at least 10 full-time jobs for local workers within the two-year conditional residency period.