Green Card For Child
As a U.S citizen or U.S. permanent resident (green card holder), you can sponsor your child to live and work in the United States as permanent residents. The process starts with a family petition (Form I-130 for child). This Petition must be submitted with proof of the family relationship and payment of the government fees.
Some qualifying children can apply for Adjustment of Status (apply for green card) at the time the I-130 for child is submitted. This depends on the age of the child and whether the Petitioner is a United States citizen or a green card holder.
Petitioner is a U.S. Citizen:
If you are a U.S. citizen, you can petition all your children with a Form I-130 for children. Once approved, your child can start the process to becomes a legal permanent resident of the United States. However, there are three categories of immigrant visas for children. These are “Immediate Relative,” “F1”, and “F3”. That means that some of your children may get an immigrant visa sooner than others, depending on their category.
Petitioner is a Green Card Holder
As legal permanent resident of the U.S., you can petition your unmarried son or daughter to become legal permanent residents of the United States. Your children fall into either two visa categories, F2A or F2B. The F2A category is reserved for unmarried children under 21 years of age. The F2B category is reserved for unmarried children over 21 years of age. That means that some of your children may get an immigrant visa sooner than others, depending on their age. Visas are issued according to annual quotas defined by law.
Consular Process for Child Living Outside the United States
A child who is over 18 years of age does not qualify for adjustment of status in the United States. Therefore, the child must wait for the Form I-130 approval in their home country. Once the I-130 for child is approved, the case goes through consular processing.
Consular processing starts when the approved I-130 Petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). At this step, the petitioner must submit proof of income and other documentation as required. The petitioner must prove that he or she has the minimum income and promise the U.S. government that the child will not become a public charge. A public charge is a person who depends on the government for assistance. If the petitioner does not meet the minimum income requirement, a joint sponsor may be used.
If all is done correctly at the NVC stage, the child will get an interview at the U.S. Consular Office located in their country. After the interview, the child will get an immigrant visa stamped on their passport. The immigrant visa allows the child to enter the United States as a permanent resident. Once the child is in the United States, he or she will receive the green card and a social security card in the mail. The child is now a lawful United States resident.