On Behalf of  | Mar 8, 2023 | Family-Based Immigration |

Immigration trends can change significantly during different administrations.

However, statistics show drastic changes from 2020 to 2022.

What are family-preference visas?

Family-preference immigration refers to a limited number of immigrants allowed to lawfully enter the U.S. based on their familial relationship with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident. For example, American citizens, either born or naturalized, can apply for an immigrant visa for a parent, spouse, son, daughter, brother or sister.

Lawful U.S. permanent residents can also file a petition for relatives in another country. However, they can only apply for a spouse or unmarried children.

How have the trends in immigration changed in the last few years?

study conducted on immigration patterns from 2018 to 2022 showed a steady decline in immigration from 2018 to 2019. From 2020 to 2021, immigration was on the back burner as most countries closed their borders.

The immigration numbers in 2022 show a steady return to typical immigration patterns. Family-preference visas for immediate relatives are the most common form of immigration in the country, accounting for approximately 157,000 visas in 2022. That is drastically more than employment-related visas, diversity visas and other types, including special immigrant visas.

What category receives the most family-based visas?

Spouses and unmarried children continued to remain the priority in 2022. Under them are lessfer-immediate family members, including siblings and married children.

Eligibility for a family-preference visa begins with a U.S. citizen or permanent resident petitioning for their relative. The steps that follow can vary depending on the relationship with the relative.