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?
A 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.