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Immediate Relative

Immediate Relative Visas

Who is eligible?

The spouse, parent, step-parent, child and step-child under the age of 21, of a U.S. citizen and the spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen.

If you are adopting a child and will be filing an immediate relative IR 3 or 4 petition for him/her, please see the Department of State website for further information.

How to apply

The first step in applying for an immigrant visa is for the U.S. citizen (petitioner) to file an immigrant visa petition, Form I-130, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). A separate petition must be filed for each person immigrating.

U.S. citizens resident in the United Kingdom may be eligible to file the petition, Form I-130, with the USCIS office at the Embassy or through the USCIS Chicago Lockbox in the United States; U.S. citizens resident in the United States should contact their local USCIS office for further information.

What happens to the approved petition?

A petition filed with USCIS in the United States is forwarded to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire which will process the immigrant visa application; a petition filed with USCIS in London, is forwarded to the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy.  


  • A petition cannot be filed for a spouse until the marriage ceremony has taken place
  • The natural child of a U.S. citizen may have claim to U.S. citizenship. A petition cannot be filed until it has been established that the child is not a U.S. citizen.
  • A step-parent or child will qualify for immigration only if the marriage creating the step parent/child relationship occurs before the child's eighteenth birthday.
  • A U.S. citizen filing a petition on behalf of a parent must be 21 years or age or over.  

Applying for the Visa

IMBRA - Rights & Protections Pamphlet

  • Thread If you are a spouse or fiance(e) of a U.S. Citizen, or spouse of a Lawful Permanent Residents, please read the Rights and Protections pamphlet before your visa interview to learn about your rights in the United States relating to domestic violence, sexual assault,and child abuse and protection available to you. The consular officer will verbally summarize the pamphlet to you during your interview.