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When can parents bring their children to the United States?

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Family-Based Immigration

Immigrants often want to reunite with their families. They leave their countries of origin to pursue opportunities and then want to share those opportunities with others. Immigrants in different circumstances can assist specific family members who also want to live in the United States of America.

According to current immigration policy, immediate family members of documented immigrants are sometimes eligible for visas or even green cards. A parent might want to share their good fortune with their children. When can a parent help their children legally enter the United States?

After obtaining a visa

A professional, student or investor who secures a visa can share that good fortune with their immediate family members. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can grant visas to the spouses and unmarried minor children of those who qualify for certain visas.

After adjusting their status

Someone who has lawfully lived in the United States can petition to stay in the country. Filing paperwork to adjust one’s status can turn a visa holder into a permanent resident. Permanent residents who have green cards can stay in the United States for the rest of their lives in many cases. They simply need to avoid serious criminal convictions and file paperwork every decade with the USCIS.

Permanent residents can potentially petition to secure their children green cards. They can secure a green card for a minor unmarried child under the age of 21. There is also another but lower preference option available for unmarried children who are now over the age of 21.

After becoming a citizen

Naturalization is a long process. Those who succeed are citizens who are no longer at risk of removal from the country. They also now have more opportunities to help their family members enter the country. Citizens are typically the only ones who can bring married children to the United States. Their family immigration requests may also receive higher priority than those of permanent residents.

Parents who have legally entered the United States, or who intend to do so, can share their good fortune with their children by helping them secure visas or green cards in many cases. Learning more about family immigration rules can help people understand the options available for their families.