Family-Sponsored First Preference (FS-1)
Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens

This category includes unmarried sons and daughters of US citizen who are at the age of 21 or older. If they are married pending the immigration petition or waiting for quota numbers, their preference is converted to the third preference under automatic conversion rule.

US Congress has limited the number of relatives who may immigrate under this category each year so there is usually a waiting period before an immigrant visa number becomes available.

Get a Green Card While Inside the United States


Definition of Child and Son and Daughter

Generally, an unmarried person under 21 years of age who is: a child born in wedlock; a child born through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a non-genetic gestational mother who is also the legal mother under the law of the relevant jurisdiction at the time of birth; a stepchild, provided that the child was under 18 years of age at the time that the marriage creating the stepchild relationship occurred; a legitimated child, provided that the child was legitimated while in the legal custody of the legitimating parent; a child born out of wedlock, when a benefit is sought on the basis of its relationship with its mother, or to its father if the father has or had a bona fide relationship with the child; a child adopted while under 16 years of age who has resided with the adopting parent for at least 2 years and has been in the legal custody of the adopting parent for at least 2 years ; or an orphan, under 16 years of age, who has been adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen or has an immediate-relative visa petition submitted in his/her behalf and is coming to the United States for adoption by a U.S. citizen.

If a child is 21years old or under the age of 21 but married, he or she is no longer qualified  as a child under US immigration law and is defined as son or daughter, and cannot be treated as immediate relative of US citizen.


Get a Green Card While Inside the United States

If you are currently in the United States and are a son or daughter of US citizen, you may be able to become a permanent resident in two steps.

Step One

Your U.S. citizen family member (sponsor) must file the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, for you and it must be approved. You must wait for your priority date in your immigrant visa category to become current. Your priority date is the date when the Form I-130 is properly filed (with correct fee and signature) on your behalf by your U.S. citizen relative.

Step Two – Once the priority date in your visa category is current, you may file for Adjustment of Status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.  Adjustment of Status is the process you go through to become a Permanent Resident.


Get a Green Card While Outside the United States

If you are currently outside the United States and are son or daughter of a U.S. citizen in this FS-1 preference category, you can become a permanent resident through consular processing. Consular processing is when we work with the U.S. Department of State to issue a visa on an approved Form I-130 petition when a visa is available. In this process the Department of State will issue you a visa. If approved, you may then travel on the visa and will officially become a permanent resident when admitted at a U.S. port of entry.


Things to keep in mind:

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA). In certain cases, the CSPA may allow you to retain the classification of “child” even if you have reached age 21. Generally, your age is “frozen” as of the date your U.S. citizen parent files Form I-130 for you. To determine if the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) applies to you, see the “Child Status Protection Act” page.

Getting Married. If you are the unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and you get married prior to becoming a permanent resident, then you no longer qualify as an “Unmarried Son or Daughter of a U.S. Citizen” and will convert to the category of “Married Son or Daughter of a U.S. Citizen.” This change in categories may result in a significant delay in your immigrant visa becoming available. You must notify us of any change in your marital status after Form I-130 has been filed for you and prior to becoming a permanent resident or obtaining an immigrant visa.