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Green Card for Children

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Child Immigration Attorney in Paducah, Kentucky

You can file for your foreign-born child to immigrate to the United States and earn their own Green Card if you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) or an American citizen. The most important variables in this application process are your children’s marital status and age. The good news is that you can get help preparing your Child Green Card application documentation from a reputable lawyer.

If you’re considering applying for a green card for your children, our Paducah green card lawyer can assist you. Contact Citizenship & Immigration Law Firm today to schedule a consultation with one of our Kentucky immigration lawyers.

Why do I need a Child Immigration Attorney in Kentucky?

Obtaining a green card for your children is one of the most time-consuming and complex immigration processes in the United States. This procedure can take months or even years to complete but having a green card for your children could allow you to spend more time or reunite with them.

Working with a family-based immigration attorney in Paducah, Kentucky will help you to achieve this and put an end to your desire to be with your children. From filing the proper documentation with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service to guaranteeing the petition is handled successfully, a Paducah family-based immigration lawyer will give the necessary assistance you will need.

green card for children

What is a Green Card for Children?

A green card for children allows a child of a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green card holder) living outside the country to enter and live legally in the United States.

If you are a US citizen with a child living outside the country who does not possess a green card or is not an American citizen, they may be able to apply for a Green Card if they’re under the age of 21 and unmarried.

On the other hand, when you are adopting a child from outside the United States, you can apply for a Green Card for Children. Visas are obtained through the U.S. embassy or consulate in the nation where the child resides. Because an adopted child is frequently brought to reside in the United States, they will require an immigrant visa.

Who is qualified for a Green Card for Children?

A Child Green Card, as previously stated, is an immigrant visa that permits a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) to bring their sons and daughters pursuing immigrant status to the United States under US immigration law. The conditions for eligibility are as follows; see if your children qualify under one of them:

  • Children of U.S. citizens married or unmarried, of any age.

You may petition for any unmarried children (under the age of 21), unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or above) and their children, and married sons and daughters (any age) and their spouses and children if you are a U.S. citizen.

  • Children of US Permanent Residents, married or unmarried, under the age of 21 (Green Card holders)

You may file for your unmarried children (under 21 years old) as well as any of your child’s offspring if you are a Permanent Resident, often known as a Green Card holder. You may also file a petition for any unmarried sons and daughters above the age of 21, usually known as adult children, as well as their children. But you can’t petition for your married children as permanent residents.

What is a "child" according to USCIS?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) considers any of the following to be your child for immigration purposes:

  • A genetic child born when the parents were married.
  • Non-legitimized genetic children born before their parents’ marriage.
    • There is no need for legitimation if the mother is petitioning.
    • Legitimation is required if the father is petitioning, according to the laws of the father’s or child’s place of residence.
    • A bona fide parent-child relationship must be demonstrated to have existed before the child’s 21st birthday and while the child was unmarried if the father is petitioning, and their relationship is not considered legitimate under applicable laws.
  • A child born by Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a non-genetic gestational mother who is recognized as the child’s legal parent under the legislation of the relevant jurisdiction at the time of birth.
  • A stepchild, only when the stepparent connection began before the child turned 18 years old.
  • Adopted children that were adopted before the age of 16.

Documents Required

You should also be prepared to supply some documentation. Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the first thing you’ll need (signed with proper filing fee).

Proof that you are a US citizen, or a lawful permanent resident is another piece of document you will need to gather. If you are a US citizen, you must show one of the following documents to verify your citizenship:

  • a copy of your United States birth certificate
  • a copy of your valid United States passport 
  • a copy of the Consular Report of Birth Abroad
  • a copy of your certificate of naturalization
  • a copy of your citizenship certificate. 

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you should show proof of your status by submitting a copy of Form I-551 (Green Card) or a copy of your foreign passport with a stamp indicating temporary evidence of permanent residency.

Any of your married or unmarried children seeking Green Card status will require a Proof of Relationship. You will require a copy of your child’s birth certificate issued by civil authorities if you are the genetic mother or a non-genetic lawful gestational mother.

You will also require a copy of your child’s birth certificate issued by civil authorities if you are the genetic father. If you are married, you must give the mother of the child a duplicate of your marriage certificate. If you are no longer married, you must submit proof of the marriage’s legal termination. 

You do not need to take any more steps if you’re never married to the mother of the child before the child turned 18 years old and your child is legally recognized. If you’ve never been married to the mother and your child isn’t legally recognized, you’ll need to show proof of a genuine father-child relationship before your child becomes 21 or marries.

If you’re a stepparent, you’ll require the following:

  • a copy of your child’s civil authority-issued birth certificate
  • a copy of your certificate of marriage to the biological parent of the child
  • proof that your spouse’s prior marriages were legally terminated

On the other hand, if you are adopting a child, you will require the following:

  • a copy of the birth certificate for your child
  • a copy of the adoption decree in its final form
  • proof that you’ve been in legal custody for two years
  • evidence that you were in physical custody for two years

How can you get your child a Green Card?

If your child has not yet arrived in the U.S.

If you are a citizen in the United States and you’re applying for an immigrant visa for your unmarried child under the age of 21, your child must file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the very same time that you file the Form I-130, Alien Relative Petition.

You should file the Form I-130 petition when you’re a US citizen applying for an immigrant visa for your son or daughter, which is married and over the age of 21. If an immigrant visa number is available, your son or daughter should file Form I-845.

You should start by filing a Form I-130 when you’re a lawful permanent resident petitioner for your son or daughter. If an immigrant visa number is available, your son or daughter should file Form I-485, Adjustment of Status.

After that, you will file your Green Card application, including Forms I-485, I-864, and I-944, as well as any additional optional forms that may apply to your situation, after your Priority Date has arrived.

Note that the Green Card application process depends on the age and the marital status of the child. It means that the application process for a child that is unmarried and below 21 years old is different from the application process for a married child that is over 21 years old.

If your child has not yet arrived in the U.S.

If your child is living outside of the U.S., the first thing you’ll need to do is fill out Form I-130. After the petition is approved, it will be sent to the consulate for processing, and a visa will be issued. 

The length of time it takes is determined by the “Priority Date,” which is determined by the preference category you choose in the following section. You should file your Green Card application when this date arrives. You will file a Form I-845 if you are applying from within the United States, and a DS-260 if you are applying from outside of the United States.

How long would it take to receive a Green Card for a child?

When USCIS confirms your petition, you will receive a notification. After you receive this letter, look up your “Priority Date,” which is the deadline for submitting your Green Card application. The current “Priority Date” data in each of these preference categories can be found in the USCIS Visa Bulletin. 

The length of time it takes for you to acquire your Green Card is determined by the preferred group in which you and your family member fall. Between the time USCIS approves an immigrant visa petition and the State Department issues an immigrant visa number, it can take years.

Child Green Card Processing Timeline

You should file your Green Card application, including Form I-485 (or DS-260 if applying outside the U.S.), Form I-864, and Form I-944, as well as any additional optional paperwork that may apply to your circumstances, once your “Priority Date” has arrived. 

You would next mail these papers to USCIS, including any supporting documentation. You should obtain both a Receipt Notice and a Biometrics Appointment Notice two to three weeks after filing. Most applications take 7 to 15 months to process from the time they are submitted.

Can I appeal when my petition was denied?

If your visa petition is denied, the rejection letter will explain how to appeal and when the appeal must be filed. The appeal may be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals after your appeal form and the associated fee has been processed.

Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)

A child is defined by the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) as someone who is unmarried and under the age of 21. If a child seeks lawful permanent resident status but turns 21 before receiving approval for a Green Card, that person is no longer regarded as a minor for immigration purposes. 

This is known as “aging out,” and it usually implies that these applicants will have to issue a new petition or application, wait longer for a Green Card, or may no longer be eligible for one.

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was enacted in response to the large number of applicants who were aging out due to extended visa processing waits. If a person meets the CSPA’s qualifying standards, they may be categorized as a child even after they reach the age of 21.

The definition of a child is not altered by CSPA. Instead, CSPA provides a technique for determining a person’s age in order to determine if they are a child for immigration purposes. The computed age is the child’s “CSPA age,” which allows some persons to be categorized as children until they reach the age of 21. CSPA, on the other hand, does not remove the condition that you remain unmarried in order to be identified as a child.

Call our Child Immigration Attorney in Paducah, Kentucky Now!

Our immigration law office in Paducah, Kentucky, will assist you if you are concerned about your children’s legal status or have immigration problems. Working with a skilled Paducah family immigration attorney ensures that the petition is properly prepared. All of the essential immigration papers will be handled by a knowledgeable children’s immigration lawyer in Paducah, Kentucky.

Don’t put it off any longer! To obtain the legal support you need, schedule a consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer at Citizenship and Immigration Law Firm immediately.

Let our immigration attorneys help you!

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