Getting Green Cards For Your Children
Immigration attorneys have spent years gaining the professional experience and contacts to successfully guide you through visa and green card application processes. One process that an immigration lawyer will be able to help you with is if you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident who is trying to bring your children to the United States to live as permanent residents.
Age and Marital Status Will Determine the Petition Process
USCIS has set up guidelines and criteria for different kinds of parent-child relationships, including relationships between a child and his natural parents, his step-parent, and his adopted parent. USCIS also differentiates between children and your son or daughter – your immigration attorney can explain these differences in more detail, but in summary, USCIS identifies a child as a son or daughter who is neither married nor 21 years of age. A son or daughter, thus, is a child who is married or 21 years of age. USCIS also differentiates between US citizens and permanent residents for the purposes of this green card petition process.
According to your citizenship status – and this is also something that will have to be discussed with your immigration lawyer and proven to USCIS – you will be able to sponsor children or sons/daughters in slightly different situations. The largest difference between what a U.S. citizen can do versus a permanent resident is that a U.S. citizen can not only sponsor his child or son/daughter, but he can also sponsor their spouse and/or children, if applicable. A permanent resident of the United States cannot, in this case.
The Four Categories of Parental Petitioner
This situation and these distinctions are complex, and USCIS further divides relationships between parents and children into four different categories, each with it’s own set of paperwork. It is imperative that you contact and retain the services of an immigration lawyer to help you assess your familial situation and gather the appropriate paperwork. The different family circumstances identified by USCIS are:
- If you are the biological mother, a US citizen or permanent resident, and are filing on behalf of a child or son/daughter;
- If you are the biological father, a US citizen or permanent resident, and are filing on behalf of a child or son/daughter;
- If you are the step-parent, a US citizen or permanent resident, and are filing on behalf of a step-child or step-son/step-daughter;
- If you are the adoptive parent, a US citizen or permanent resident, and are filing on behalf of your adopted child or adopted son/daughter. K
As mentioned above, each of these situations requires different kinds of paperwork to prove. You should work very closely with your immigration lawyer when you are collecting this paperwork, to make sure that your green card petition for your child is complete.
Dig Up All the Documentation
The kinds of documentation you may have to gather and discuss with your immigration attorney is:
- A copy of the legal birth certificate of the child or son/daughter in question;
- Proof that you are a citizen or permanent resident of the US;
- A copy of your marriage certificate, whether you are the biological parent or are married to one of the child’s natural parents;
- Proof that any marriage you had entered into previously was legally ended;
- Proof that, if the child was born out of wedlock, they were legitimated before their 18th birthday;
- Proof that, if a child was born out of wedlock and they were not legitimated before their 18th birthday, an emotional or financial bond existed between you (the father) and the child;
- A copy of a final adoption certificate;
- Documents detailing that you have had custody of your adopted child for at least two years;
- Documents detailing that your adopted child lived with you for at least two years.
A Galstyan Lawyer Can Guide You Through the Process
As you can see, this green card petition process can be very complex. In order to expedite your petition and ensure its success, you must contact an immigration lawyer and their help to write your green card petition on behalf of your child. If you do not want to leave your children abroad during the processing period, there are some other temporary visa and green card options for children. Talk to your immigration attorney, and make sure that you have explored all of the options and considered every aspect of the green card application process for your child. No one wants to have their green card petition on behalf of their child denied. Contact an immigration lawyer today.