Preference System (Immigration Act of 1990) Law and Legal Definition

Preference System (Immigration Act of 1990) refers to the nine classes or categories under which the family-sponsored and employment-based immigrant preference visas are granted or distributed since 1992. The family-sponsored preferences are:

1. Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens;

2. Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent resident aliens;

3. Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens; and

4. Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens.

The employment-based preferences are:

1. Investors or employment creation immigrants;

2. Priority workers or those individuals who possess extraordinary abilities, outstanding professors and researchers, and certain multinational executives and managers;

3. Professionals with advanced degrees or foreigners with exceptional ability;

4. Skilled workers, professionals without advanced degrees, and needed unskilled workers; and

5. Special immigrants.