Spouse, Unmarried Child (under 21) & Parent of a U.S. Citizen

If you are the spouseparent, step-parentchild or step-child under the age of 21 of a U.S. citizen or the spouse of a deceased U.S. citizen you may apply for an immigrant visa in the immediate relative category on the basis of an immigrant visa petition filed by your relative with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If you are a spouse or minor child of a U.S. Citizen applying for a nonimmigrant K-3 or K-4 visa, please click here.

Your relative is required to file an immigrant visa petition, Form I-130, on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If a petition has not already been filed, information about how to do so is available here.

The petition will take several months to process.  Once approved, the petition will be sent to either to the National Visa Center in New Hampshire (if filed in the United States) or the Immigrant Visa Unit here at the Embassy (if filed with the USCIS field office in London).


  • 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 at least 21 years of age.