If you are a U.S. citizen, you may be able to petition for your child to get a green card. This process is called “petitioning” your child for permanent residence. In order to petition your child, you will need to meet certain eligibility requirements and file the proper paperwork with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If your child is granted a green card, they will be allowed to live and work permanently in the United States. Read on to learn more about how to sponsor your child for a green card.
Parents who are United States citizens can petition for their unmarried children under the age of 21 to get a green card and married children over the age of 21
For United States citizen parents, it can be a dream come true to have their children join them here in the United States. While there are many paths to obtaining a green card, one of the easier methods is for parents to petition for their unmarried children under the age of 21. Once approved, these minors become eligible for a green card that allows them to live and work anywhere in the United States. It is important to note that having a green card could even offer an avenue toward United States citizenship further down the line when time permits. Keep in mind, these petitions may take between a while to process, depending on backlogs at local immigration services offices – however parents can make this journey an easier one for their children by researching ahead of time and having all necessary documentation ready, and on-hand when submitting applications.
The first step is to file a Petition for the family member, Form I-130 with USCIS.
Starting the process of family-based immigration can be daunting, but filing a Petition for a family member, Form I-130, with USCIS is the first step in the right direction. This form establishes one’s relationship to an eligible relative for United States immigration purposes and documents your eligibility as a petitioner by providing evidence of birth certificate, or other proof showing family relationships. Making sure you have all relevant documentation in order prior to sending in this petition will help ensure a smooth process ahead. This form has been designed to ensure applicants have everything they need to gather and organize documents that serve as proof of one’s eligibility. Taking this first step in preparing pertinent information regarding the family relationship between both parties, makes the subsequent stages easier to take on and complete.
Once that form is approved, your child will be given a priority date if the child is over 21 years old and will have to wait until an immigrant visa becomes available based on that date. If the child is under 21 years of age, there’s no wait time.
Once all the necessary documents have been collected and the form is submitted, you must wait for the approval. After it is approved, your child will be given a priority date, which signifies the order in which their application will be assessed for available immigrant visas. The duration of the wait can range from several months to years. During this time, it’s important to stay vigilant and look out for updates from your immigration services provider to know when an immigrant visa becomes available based on your child’s priority date.
After the visa becomes available, your child will need to go through an interview process at a United States embassy or consulate abroad before being granted a green card and permission to enter the United States.
Once your child has become eligible and properly registered for a visa to enter the United States, they will still need to complete a separate interview process. This is done at a United States embassy or foreign consulate in the child’s own country and allows the government to verify their identity and confirm that all the presented information is true. The interviewee must present documents proving marital eligibility, if relevant, as well as other forms of identification such as passports or birth certificates. As long as these criteria are met and no inconsistencies arise, the child should receive permission in the form of a green card to travel and ultimately enter the United States.
If your child turns 21 before their application is approved will they still be eligible?
If your child is under 21 when you file the petition, but turns 21 before their application for a visa, green card, or citizenship is complete and approved they may still qualify. The rule of thumb is that as long as the application process began when your child was a minor, they are eligible because they met the age requirement at the time of the application. There are exceptions to this rule if your child commits a crime or is disqualified based on another requirement that is not related to their age or your status in the country.
If your child is born outside of the United States and you are already a citizen you can skip all of this
If your child is born outside of the United States while you are already a citizen the process is very simple. They may be automatically considered a citizen of the United States through what is “acquisition” or “derivation”. They do not need to go through any of the steps to get a green card and permission to come into the United States. If you are a citizen and you have a baby abroad, you should report their birth at the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as possible so that a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) can be issued as an official record of the child’s claim to United States citizenship or nationality. The United States embassy or consulate will provide you one original copy of an eligible child’s CRBA. If you are a minor or adult child and your parents never did this or if you are a parent and you waited too long you can contact an experienced immigration attorney at Puntier Law to help you claim your citizenship.
If you are a U.S. citizen and would like to petition for your unmarried child under the age of 21 to get a green card or your married child over the age of 21, and they did not have at least one United States citizen parent at the time of birth, there are specific steps you must take. First, you will need to file a Petition for Alien Relative, Form I-130 with USCIS preferably with the help of an experienced immigration attorney at Puntier Law. Once that form is approved and your child is given a priority date, they will have to wait until an immigrant visa becomes available based on that date. After the visa becomes available, they will need to go through an interview process at a U.S embassy or consulate abroad before being granted permission to enter the United States and receive their green card.