Bringing Children, Sons and Daughters to the US as Permanent Residents

Bringing Children, Sons and Daughters to the US as Permanent Residents

If you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, you may petition your children or your sons and/or daughters for permanent resident status. So, what’s the difference between "children" and "sons and daughters"?

USCIS differentiates them, for immigration purposes, as follows:

Children: unmarried and under 21

Sons and daughters: married and/or over 21

Eligibility requirements for a U.S. citizen:

If you are a U.S. citizen, you may petition for your children, unmarried sons and daughters and

married sons and daughters.

Your unmarried sons and daughters need to be aged 21 or over. Their children (if any) can be include the petition as well.

Your married sons and daughters can be of any age, and their children (if any) can be included in this petition.

Eligibility requirements for a permanent resident:

If you are a permanent resident of the U.S., you may petition your children and your unmarried sons and daughters. Your children need to be unmarried and below the age of 21. Your unmarried sons and daughters need to be 21 or over and their children (if any) may be included in this petition.

The process:

You will have to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, along with the fees and supporting documents. The supporting documents include proof of your U.S. citizenship or permanent residency, and proof of relationship between you and the beneficiary. If there has been a name change for you or the child, you need to include proof of legal name change as well.

What is the procedure if the beneficiary lives in the United States?

If you are a U.S. citizen and your child is unmarried and under 21 - At the same time that you file Form I-130, he or she may file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence.

If you are a U.S. citizen and your son or daughter is married and/or 21 years or over, you file Form I-130 to petition them. Once a visa becomes available, your son or daughter will have to file Form I-485. Visa availability can be checked on the Visa Bulletin.

If you are a permanent resident and you are petitioning for your child, son or daughter, you file

Form I-130 to petition them. Once a visa becomes available, your child, son or daughter will have to file Form I-485. Visa availability can be checked on the Visa Bulletin.

What is the procedure if the beneficiary lives outside the United States?

If the beneficiary lives abroad, you file Form I-130 to petition them. Once the petition is approved and a visa becomes available, the petition will be sent to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the beneficiary’s country for consular processing, and they will provide information about the processing to the beneficiary.

Other information:

  1. If you have not yet been married for two years and you are petitioning a step-child, on approval, the child will be given conditional permanent resident (CPR) status that is valid for two years. If the child and his or her mother were given CPR status at the same time or within 90 days, the mother may include the child in her petition when she files Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence. However, if the child received CPR 90 days after your spouse, then he or she has to file a separate Form I-751. Form I-751 has to be filed 90 days prior to the expiration date on the conditional green card.
  2. If you are a U.S. citizen and you have petitioned your child, and if your child wishes to come to the U.S. to go to school or work, while the permanent residency petition is being processed, you can file Form 1-829F to get him or her a K-4 nonimmigrant visa. Your child can also opt to wait abroad until the permanent resident visa is issued.
  3. If you are a permanent resident and have file the I-130 on or before December 21, 2000, and it has been more than three years since the I-130 was filed, your child may be eligible for the V nonimmigrant visa.
  4. If you became a permanent resident through a preference classification, and if your spouse and children did not receive permanent residency at the same time as you did, they may be eligible for follow-to-join benefits.


Need Counsel for Immigration? Call Today.

Immigration law can be complicated and this article does not exhaust all the information surrounding the process for U.S. citizens or permanent residents to bring their children, sons and daughters to live in the U.S. as immigrants. These issues can be extremely complex, and a single misstep could potentially lead to a rejection of your application or other immigration penalties. If you have any questions regarding this matter, please do not hesitate to contact our office.

Call our law firm for a consultation today at: (949) 478-4936.

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