Chapter 1 - Purpose and Background

A. Purpose

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides that U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may petition for certain noncitizen relatives to immigrate to the United States.[1] If the petitioners and the beneficiaries of such petitions meet the eligibility requirements, beneficiaries may then pursue LPR status by applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate (otherwise known as consular processing), or, if already in the United States, by applying for adjustment of status.[2]

B. Background [Reserved]

C. Legal Authorities

  • INA 201 – Worldwide level of immigration

  • INA 202 – Numerical limitations on individual foreign states

  • INA 203 – Allocation of immigrant visas

  • INA 204; 8 CFR 204 – Procedure for granting immigrant status


[^ 1] In addition, Congress provided that certain noncitizen relatives may self-petition in limited circumstances.

[^ 2] For more information, see Volume 7, Adjustment of Status [7 USCIS-PM].

Current as of July 26, 2021