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Video – The Family Preference Categories

In this video, Attorney Carl Shusterman (Former INS Attorney 1976-82) provides an introduction to the family preference categories under US immigration laws. He describes how US citizens and green card holders can sponsor their relatives for permanent residence.

Bear in mind that while it is always faster to immigrate as an “immediate relative” (spouse, parent or child of a US citizen), it is sometimes more practical to immigrate under one of the family preference categories. This is because persons who immigrate under the family preference categories are permitted to have their spouse and children immigrate together with them. These family members are called “derivative beneficiaries”. Persons who immigrate as immediate relatives are not permitted to have “derivative beneficiaries” immigrate together with them. This can often result in a prolonged period of family separation.



In addition to explaining the 1st, 2A, 2B, 3rd, and 4th preference and immediate relative categories, Attorney Shusterman also talks about how per-country quotas, alternate chargeability, and the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) can affect immigration through family members.

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