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Family members who are not the spouse or children of the F-1 or J-1 need to obtain a visitor visa to visit the U.S. Some countries’ citizens may be eligible to visit the U.S. without obtaining a B-1/B-2 visa through the US State Department’s Visa Program.
People related to a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident of the country may join their relatives using the family visa category. There are both immigrant and nonimmigrant U.S. family visas. You need a petition from a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States to obtain an immigrant visa.
There are two categories of immigrant visas: “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens and those for “preference” cases.
Immediate relatives include spouse, parent, or an enrolled unmarried child under 21. A close relative can get as many immigrant visas as they need each year. In addition to siblings, a U.S. citizen’s unmarried adult or married son/ daughter, a legal permanent resident’s spouse and the children of permanent residents may qualify for a family preference visa. Each year, there is a quota for family preference cases.
If you apply for a green card, you can become a lawful permanent resident of the United States. The process can be lengthy. Immigration based on the family unit can also include nonimmigrant visas. It gives you temporary entry to the U.S., which you can then use to continue your immigration journey to become a permanent resident.

How to apply for a B-1/B-2 visa

Application for a B-1/B-2 visitor visa requires the following documents:

  • Valid passport
  • Photographs
  • Visa application fee
  • Visa application forms

The visas are not subject to yearly limits like other family preference visas.

  • IR-1: Partner of a U.S. Citizen.
  • IR-2: Unmarried Child (U.S. Citizen) of 21 Years.
  • IR-3: Orphan adopted by a U.S. Citizen.
  • IR-4: An orphan to be adopted by a U.S. citizen.
  • IR-5: At least 21 years parent of a U.S. Citizen.
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