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American Family Visa Application: Family-Based Immigration – US Embassy



Getting a US visa is one of the best things that can ever happen to someone especially when He or She knows how beneficial it can be to secure a visa to US, therefore American family visa allows you as an immigrant or one who is related to a citizen that lives in US or a resident permanently based in US will easily secure a family visa  to stay in the country (USA). This article will move further by explaining possible ways of getting a US visa and then requirements for a family visa then possible questions and guidelines to get one when you apply at the right time.

American Family Visa Application

Furthermore, lets break this family visa and i m migration process down so that you can easily understand how it works.

Family visas are designed for those who want to permanently settle in the USA based on their family relation with permanent resident or US citizen, who is sponsor of their visa.

American citizen can sponsor spouses, children, parents and siblings, while permanent residents can sponsor only spouses and children.

However, there is a fiancée visa (K-1) which is a non-immigrant ie. temporary visa which allows you to travel to the USA and marry you fiancée who is permanent resident of the USA.

Few conditions to secure a visa for any sibling

As for the U.S citizen who wants to bring their siblings in the U.S permanently, you must fulfill these conditions:

  • You must be a U.S citizen
  • Candidate must be at least 21 years old
  • You must have siblings in a foreign country and prove it through birth certificates or adoption documents
  • Also, candidate must be living in the U.S and have a valid U.S address.

Overview of the USA  visa immigration process

U.S. citizens and permanent residents who have family members living outside the United States can file petitions to help them immigrate. However, this serves the U.S. policy goal of family reunification.

The application process to obtain an immigrant visa for eligible family members will follow the same basic steps whether you are a U.S. citizen (USC) or a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

However, procedure of helping someone get a green card requires great attention, the actual processing time, however, will depend on a number of factors: your immigration status (USC or LPR) as the “petitioner”; the beneficiary’s country of origin; your family relationship; and the personal situation of the beneficiary.

It is important to learn about this application process in advance, so that you’ll be able to plan for the various requirements.

Family-Based Immigration (American Family Visa Application)

The family-based immigration system allows U.S. citizens and LPRs to bring certain family members to the United States.

These people are (Family members) are admitted either as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens or through the family preference system.

An unlimited number of visas are always available every year for the immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.

Therefore, just know that immigrants must meet standard eligibility criteria, and petitioners must meet certain age and financial requirements.

Members eligible are:

  • spouses of U.S. citizens;
  • unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens (under 21 years old); and
  • parents of U.S. citizens (petitioner must be at least 21 years old to petition for a parent).

A limited number of visas are available every year under the family preference system.

The family preference system includes:

  • Adult children (married and unmarried) and brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens (petitioner must be at least 21 years old to petition for a sibling); and
  • Spouses and unmarried children (minor and adult) of LPRs.

Types of US Family Based Immigrant Visas

The Family Green Cards are denoted with the prefix F. There are four types of these visas:

  • F-1 visa is given to unmarried sons and daughters of U.S citizens and their minor children
  • F-2 visa is given to the spouse and minor children (F-2A visa), or adult children (F-2B visa) of U.S Lawful Permanent Residents
  • F-3 visa is given to married children of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children
  • F4 visa is given to siblings of U.S citizens who will go to the U.S with their spouses and minor children. For this visa to apply, the U.S citizen must be at least 21 years old.

Family Members Eligible to Immigrate to the U.S. (American Family Visa Application)

Potential beneficiaries of family-based immigrants are classified into two categories: so-called “immediate relatives” of U.S. citizens and “family preference” relatives.

The immediate relatives of U.S. citizens are not subject to limitations on the number of immigrant visas (green cards). Section for immediate relatives includes the spouses and their unmarried children younger than 21 years, their parents (after the U.S. citizen child has turned 21), and orphans adopted abroad or in the States.

However, beneficiaries who fall into the “family preference” category are subject to annual quotas on visas, both an overall limit and a per-country allotment.

Duration of Family visa

Family visa is a permanent visa, while fiancée visa is temporary. Fiancée visa allows you to get married with an American citizen within 90 days from the day of your entry into the USA.

Visa fees and processing time

Fee for a petition for immigrant visa is 535USD, visa fee for family visa application is 325USD while visa fee for fiancée visa is 265USD. Processing time depends on each case especially if you are applying for a category with limited number of visas per year.

Table Representation Family-Based Immigration System

CategoryU.S. SponsorRelationshipNumerical Limit

Immediate Relatives


U.S. Citizen adults

Spouses, unmarried minor children, and parents 


Preference allocation 
1U.S. citizenUnmarried adult children23,400*
2ALPRSpouses and minor children87,900
2BLPRUnmarried adult children26,300
3U.S. citizenMarried adult children23,400**
4U.S. citizenBrothers and Sisters65,000***

Conditions of Family visa (American Family Visa Application)

The basic conditions are:

  • Your sponsor must be over 18 years old with a residence in the USA, as well as sufficient income and means to support you financially (Statement of Support)
  • Your sponsor should submit a petition for your immigrant visa to US Citizenship and Immigration Services – USCIS and that petition needs to be approved (Form I-130)
  • Filled out form DS-261 – for immigrant visas
  • You need to have valid documents to prove your family ties and other conditions that could be required
  • You need to meet the requirements regarding health examination and vaccination

Benefits of Family Visa

Family visa is designed for bringing families together and also link up things together especially with family members.

If one family member is a citizen or permanent resident of the USA through this visa other family members can come to USA so they can live together and study or work.

Family visa allows permanent residency ie. you can become permanent resident with this visa and if you meet certain condition later you could become US citizen.

If your petition for immigrant visa is approved through close relative (sibling who is a US citizen), your family members (partner and children under 21 years old) also have opportunity to apply for family visa and accompany you.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. ebenezer zeya

    October 24, 2021 at 6:27 pm

    je suis résident permanent depuis 10 mois ici aux USA par loption de mariage avec une americaine depuis 2017.

    je souhaite que ma nièce vienne étudier ici aux états unis .

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Understanding Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs): How They Can Help You Immigrate to Canada




In recent years, Canada has emerged as one of the most sought-after destinations for immigrants around the world. Its stable economy, high quality of life, and welcoming multicultural environment make it an ideal place to settle and build a future. Among the various pathways to Canadian immigration, Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) stand out as a valuable option for those seeking to make Canada their new home. In this comprehensive guide, we will delve into the details of PNPs, how they function, and how they can assist you in realizing your dream of immigrating to Canada.

What are Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)?

Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) are initiatives established by Canadian provinces and territories in collaboration with the federal government to address specific regional labor market needs and economic development priorities. As Canada encompasses a vast and diverse landscape, each province and territory faces unique challenges and opportunities in terms of population growth, workforce development, and industry demands. Recognizing these distinctions, PNPs empower provinces and territories to tailor their immigration strategies to suit their individual economic and demographic objectives.

Through PNPs, provinces and territories have the autonomy to nominate individuals who possess the skills, education, and work experience required to contribute to their local economies. This nomination is a crucial step towards obtaining permanent residency in Canada. By actively selecting candidates who align with their economic priorities, provinces and territories can attract immigrants who are more likely to integrate successfully into their communities, address labor shortages, and stimulate economic growth.

Moreover, PNPs serve as a means for provinces and territories to participate directly in Canada’s broader immigration system while retaining a degree of control over their respective immigration streams. This decentralized approach reflects Canada’s commitment to diversity, inclusion, and regional development, allowing different regions to actively shape their immigration policies in line with their unique needs and aspirations.

In essence, PNPs embody Canada’s multifaceted approach to immigration, wherein provinces and territories are empowered to play a proactive role in selecting immigrants who can contribute to their local economies and enrich the social fabric of their communities. By harnessing the talents and potential of newcomers, PNPs not only support the growth and vitality of individual regions but also contribute to the overall prosperity and cohesion of the nation as a whole.

How Do PNPs Work?

PNPs are designed to address the specific labor market and economic needs of each province or territory. Therefore, the eligibility criteria, application process, and immigration streams offered may vary from one PNP to another. However, in general, PNPs operate under the following framework:

Expression of Interest (EOI) or Application Submission

The initial step in the PNP process involves candidates expressing their interest in immigrating to a particular province or territory. Depending on the jurisdiction, this can take the form of submitting an Expression of Interest (EOI) or directly applying to the specific PNP stream for which they are eligible. During this stage, candidates typically provide information about their background, qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and other relevant details.

Selection and Invitation

After receiving EOIs or applications, provinces and territories assess candidates against their specific eligibility criteria and selection factors. This evaluation may consider factors such as the candidate’s age, education, work experience, language proficiency, adaptability, and ties to the province or territory. Qualified candidates are then invited to apply for a provincial nomination.

Documentation and Verification

Once invited, candidates must submit a comprehensive application to the respective PNP, along with supporting documentation to verify the information provided in their EOI or application. This documentation may include educational transcripts, employment records, language test results, proof of funds, and other relevant documents. Provinces and territories conduct thorough checks to ensure the authenticity and accuracy of the information provided by candidates.

Assessment and Decision

The PNP authorities review the submitted applications and assess them based on the established criteria and priorities of the province or territory. This assessment may involve evaluating the candidate’s qualifications, work experience, language proficiency, and potential to contribute to the local economy and community. Upon completion of the assessment, successful candidates are nominated by the province or territory for permanent residency.

Federal Application and Processing

With a provincial nomination in hand, candidates proceed to apply for permanent residency through Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). The federal application includes additional steps such as medical exams, police clearances, and biometric data submission. Candidates must demonstrate that they meet all federal eligibility requirements and provide the necessary documentation to support their application.

Permanent Residency and Settlement

Upon approval of their federal application, candidates and their accompanying family members become permanent residents of Canada. They are entitled to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada, as well as access healthcare, social services, and other benefits available to permanent residents. Newly arrived immigrants are encouraged to participate in settlement programs and services to facilitate their integration into Canadian society and the labor market.

Overall, the PNP process is a collaborative effort between federal, provincial, and territorial governments to address regional labor market needs and promote economic development across Canada. By providing pathways to permanent residency for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and other individuals, PNPs contribute to the cultural diversity, innovation, and prosperity of communities throughout the country.

Popular Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) in Canada

Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP)

Saskatchewan’s PNP is designed to attract skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and farmers who can contribute to the province’s thriving economy and vibrant communities. The SINP offers various streams, including the International Skilled Worker Category, the Saskatchewan Experience Category, and the Entrepreneur Category, each catering to different types of applicants with specific skills and experiences.

Nova Scotia Nominee Program (NSNP)

Nova Scotia’s PNP aims to address labor market needs and demographic challenges by attracting skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and individuals with experience in in-demand occupations. The NSNP offers several streams, such as the Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream, the Nova Scotia Experience: Express Entry stream, and the Entrepreneur stream, providing diverse pathways for immigration to the province.


Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP)

Manitoba’s PNP is designed to attract skilled workers, business investors, and international graduates to contribute to the province’s economic growth and cultural diversity. The MPNP offers streams such as the Skilled Worker Overseas stream, the Skilled Worker in Manitoba stream, and the Business Investor stream, each targeting specific categories of applicants based on their qualifications and intentions to settle in Manitoba.

Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Nominee Program (NLPNP)

Newfoundland and Labrador’s PNP seeks to address labor market needs and demographic challenges by nominating skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and international graduates for permanent residency. The NLPNP offers streams such as the Newfoundland and Labrador Express Entry Skilled Worker stream, the Skilled Worker Category, and the International Graduate Category, providing opportunities for individuals to contribute to the province’s economic and social development.

Each of these Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) has its own unique eligibility criteria, application process, and selection criteria tailored to the specific needs and priorities of the respective province or territory. By offering diverse streams and pathways for immigration, these PNPs provide opportunities for individuals with different backgrounds and skill sets to pursue their dreams of settling in Canada and contributing to the country’s prosperity and diversity.


Benefits of Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

Provincial Nominee Programs offer several advantages for individuals seeking to immigrate to Canada:

  • Tailored to Local Needs: PNPs enable provinces and territories to select immigrants based on the specific skills and qualifications required to address local labor shortages and contribute to economic growth. This ensures that newcomers are integrated into communities where their expertise is most needed and valued.
  • Streamlined Immigration Process: Provincial nominees often receive expedited processing of their permanent residency applications, reducing wait times and providing a faster pathway to settling in Canada. This streamlined approach accelerates the overall immigration process, making it more efficient for both applicants and the government.
  • Additional Points:Candidates nominated through a PNP receive extra points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) of the Express Entry system. These additional points enhance their CRS score, increasing their likelihood of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency, thereby improving their chances of successfully immigrating to Canada.
  • Pathways to Citizenship:Once granted permanent residency, individuals and their families have the opportunity to live, work, and study anywhere in Canada. After meeting residency requirements, they can apply for Canadian citizenship, granting them access to all the rights and privileges enjoyed by citizens, including the ability to vote and hold a Canadian passport.


Furthermore, here are some of the most frequently asked questions about the Canadian Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs):

What is a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and how does it differ from other immigration pathways to Canada?

A Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) is an immigration pathway operated by individual provinces and territories in Canada. Unlike federal immigration programs, PNPs allow provinces and territories to nominate candidates for permanent residency based on their specific economic and demographic needs. Each PNP is tailored to address the unique priorities of the region it serves, offering targeted pathways for skilled workers, entrepreneurs, and other individuals.

What are the eligibility criteria for applying to a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

Eligibility criteria for PNPs vary depending on the province or territory. Generally, candidates must demonstrate that they possess the skills, experience, and qualifications desired by the specific PNP stream they are applying to. Common eligibility factors include age, education, work experience, language proficiency, and adaptability to the local community. Some PNPs also have specific occupation lists or targeted streams for certain professions or industries.

How do I apply for a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), and what is the application process like?

The application process for PNPs typically involves several stages. Candidates may need to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) or directly apply to the PNP stream for which they qualify. Upon receiving an invitation to apply, candidates must submit a comprehensive application along with supporting documentation to verify their qualifications. The province or territory assesses applications based on its specific criteria and priorities, and successful candidates receive a provincial nomination.

What are the benefits of obtaining a provincial nomination through a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP)?

There are several benefits to obtaining a provincial nomination through a PNP. Firstly, a provincial nomination significantly enhances a candidate’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score under the federal Express Entry system, increasing their chances of receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residency. Additionally, PNPs often have faster processing times compared to other immigration pathways. Furthermore, a provincial nomination demonstrates a candidate’s commitment to settling in a specific province or territory, which may facilitate their integration into Canadian society and the labor market.

Can I apply to multiple Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) at the same time?

Yes, in most cases, candidates can submit applications to multiple PNPs simultaneously if they meet the eligibility criteria for each program. However, it’s important to note that some provinces and territories may have restrictions or preferences regarding candidates who have already applied to other PNPs. Additionally, candidates should carefully consider their options and select the PNP streams that best align with their skills, experience, and career goals.


Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) play a pivotal role in facilitating immigration to Canada by addressing regional labor market needs and fostering economic development. These programs offer a streamlined pathway to permanent residency for individuals with the skills and qualifications desired by specific provinces and territories. By understanding how PNPs work and exploring the various opportunities they present, you can embark on your journey to realizing your Canadian dream. Take the first step today and explore the diverse pathways offered by PNPs to immigrate to Canada and build a brighter future for yourself and your family.

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