Bringing children to live in the U.S. on a permanent basis requires a green card. Immigration laws treat children differently depending on whether they are over or under the age of 21. Children who are 21 years of age or older are referred to as “sons” or “daughters.” Processing times for children over age 21 are longer than for children under age 21. Your child’s marital status also affects the processing times and eligibility to file a petition on his or her behalf.
If you are a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you are eligible to apply for a green card for your unmarried children regardless of their age. Your child’s petition may also include their children. If your child is married, you must be a U.S. citizen to file a petition on his or her behalf. The petition can include the child’s spouse and children.
The Law Offices of Robert M. Bell, P.A. assist clients with the process of attaining a green card for children, including green cards for those classified as sons and daughters. Our services also include petitions and applications for your child’s spouse or children, if applicable. Working with one of our immigration attorneys can greatly reduce your risk for errors that lead to delays in obtaining a green card for your children.
Get Help with U.S. Immigration Form I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
The immigration attorneys of The Law Offices of Robert M. Bell, P.A. will fill out and file all the necessary paperwork for your child’s green card. Here are some of the forms you may need to file, depending on your situation:
- U.S. Immigration Form I-130 “Petition for Alien Relative.” This form is the first step in petitioning for an eligible child, son, or daughter to obtain a green card. If you are a legal adult and a U.S. citizen, you may file the form on behalf of your married or unmarried children, son, or daughter. Green card holders may file this petition on behalf of their unmarried children.
- U.S. Immigration Form I-485 “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.” Also known as the AOS form, this document allows your child to apply for “lawful resident” status while they are in the U.S.
- U.S. Immigration Form I-864 “Affidavit of Support.” This form helps family-based immigrants such as children, sons, or daughters demonstrate that they are not likely to rely on the U.S. government for financial assistance.
- U.S. Immigration Form I-601 “Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility.” This form waives various grounds of inadmissibility, allowing your children to qualify for a green card. Grounds of inadmissibility include health issues, criminal issues, or fraud or misrepresentation, among others.
- U.S. Immigration Form I-944 “Declaration of Self-Sufficiency.” This form is used to determine whether an applicant is likely to become a public charge at any time in the future. Due to a new nationwide law, Form I-944 must be filed with many applications for adjustment of status.
These are the forms used to obtain a green card for children, sons, or daughters. Because the forms required for each situation are unique, it is vital to speak with an immigration attorney to ensure you are timely filing the proper paperwork. The immigration attorneys of The Law Offices of Robert M. Bell, P.A. can help. We can make sure you are submitting the forms in accordance with the law and providing appropriate evidence and documentation.
Green Card for Children Timeline
There are two primary timelines that you can be used as guides in filing for green cards for children. Which timeline you use will depend on your situation.
Adjustment of Status
This timeline will apply to you if your children, sons, or daughters are in the U.S. at the time they are seeking a green card. It is important to speak to an immigration attorney at Robert M. Bell, P.A. to determine if your child is eligible for adjustment of status.
- Preparation of Filling You are required to file a packet of application forms with supporting documents with USCIS. A qualified immigration attorney can explain the forms and documentation that will be required in your particular circumstances.
- Interview and Approval A local USCIS office may interview you and your child to review the applications and ask relevant background questions. After the interview, USCIS will make a decision or request additional evidence. If approved, your child will receive a lawful permanent resident card (also known as a green card.)
This is the process for your children, sons, and daughters who are living outside the U.S. Here is a general timeline you can use to estimate your processing time:
- USCIS Processing of I-130 Petition. You will file the I-130 petition and evidence as the first step in the process of obtaining a green card for your child.
- Immigrant Visa Application. If your I-130 petition is approved, USCIS will send the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC), and the State Department will open an immigrant visa case. Additional paperwork will be required. The NVC will collect more information and documents from you and your child.
- Interview and Approval. Once the NVC has received all necessary documents, the U.S. embassy or consulate in your parent’s country of citizenship will schedule an interview. If approved, your child (and your child’s spouse and/or children) will be issued an immigrant visa that can be used to enter the U.S. The green card will be mailed to your child after arrival in the U.S.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer to Help with a Green Card for Your Children
At The Law Offices of Robert M. Bell, P.A., our immigration and nationality attorneys serve as a critical resource for anyone looking to obtain a green card for children or green card for sons or daughters. We are experienced and efficient in preparing and filing the documentation and evidence you need to keep your immigration process moving forward. To get started with your immigration matter, contact our firm at (954) 241-4209.