Countless people seek to enter the U.S. every year. This complicates securing a visa that allows one legal entry into the country. When applying for entry, one must provide a reason as to why they want to reside in America. While any number of reasons merit legitimate consideration, officials prioritize applications from those attempting to reunite with their families in San Antonio.

Family reunification

Federal immigration law does indeed practice a policy of emphasizing on family reunification. At the same time, it does not want to place extensive limits on the entry opportunities for those looking to come into the U.S. for other reasons. Thus, only certain types of relatives qualify for an unlimited number of visas. According to the American Immigration Council, only the spouses, parents and unmarried minor children of U.S. citizens fall into this group.

All others looking to reunite with family members in the U.S. fall into subcategories. Each of these subcategories is then assigned a preference allocation; only a limited number of visas available to people falling into these classifications. The breakdown (in order of preference) is as follows:

  • Unmarried adult children of U.S. citizens: 23,400 visas
  • Spouses and minor children of legal permanent residents: 87,900 visas
  • Unmarried adult children of legal permanent residents: 26,300 visas
  • Married adult children of U.S. citizens: 23,400 visas
  • Siblings of U.S. citizens: 65,000

Determining the number of available visas

The numbers listed above represent the maximum number of visas made available in each category. To determine the total number of visas available to those available for entry due to family preference, federal officials begin at 480,000, then subtract the number of both immediate relative visas issued in the previous year and the number of aliens paroled into the U.S. After that, officials add in the number of unused visas from the previous year allotted to those seeking employment in America to come up with the total number of visas available for family preference. By law, that number cannot be lower than 226,000.