What Are the Different Types of Immigration Petitions?


There are a wide variety of immigration petitions available to eligible individuals to come to the United States. These petitions generally fall into three different programs: family-based, employment-based, and humanitarian. A limited number of immigrants also may obtain visas through the diversity immigration program.

Family-based immigration visas are the most common type of immigrant visas. There are a total of four types of family-based visas. The U.S. government provides an unlimited number of immigrant visas for immediate family members of U.S. citizens, who are their spouses, minor children, or parents. Additionally, other relatives of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) can petition for family-based visas, such adult children and siblings of U.S. citizens and spouses and unmarried children of LPRs. However, the number of visas for other relatives is limited to a certain number each year.

Different employment-based visas may be available for immigrants who work in different industries or have unique specialties or talents. The number of these visas also are capped at a certain number per year, and there also caps that apply to the number of visas for individuals of each nationality.

Man looking at his iPad

What Are the Different Types of Immigration Petitions?

Humanitarian visas are available for immigrants who face a reasonable fear of persecution in their home countries or instability in their countries due to natural disasters or civil unrest. For example, individuals may be admitted to the country as refugees for these reasons, and individuals who already are present in the U.S. may obtain asylum. Other individuals who are victims of domestic violence in the U.S. may be able obtain U visas, which are authorized by the Violence Against Women Act.

Finally, the federal government makes several thousand visas available on an annual basis to immigrants from countries that are deemed to be “low-admission” countries. This is often referred to as the “diversity lottery” visa program.

If you or a family member is dealing with an immigration law issue, we may be able to help. As experienced Texas immigration attorneys, we have the knowledge needed to help you or your loved one navigate through the often-complex process of obtaining a visa to enter the U.S. Call us today at (512) 359-3362 and schedule an appointment with one of our skilled immigration lawyers and learn how we can assist you.

Share To: