How can I apply green card for my children?

Wondering if you can get green card for your children? Yes. You can. If you are a U.S. Citizen, then you may petition your spouse, parent(s) and children for a Green Card status. Whereas if you a Legal Permanent Resident (green card holder), you can sponsor only your spouse and unmarried children.

Initially, or the first step is the “Immigrant Petition” that will establish a qualifying relationship between the sponsor and the child abroad. Then the next step will be the green card application . If you are the sponsor and are a U.S. Citizen and the foreign child is in the U.S., then it is possible for you to file the Immigrant Petition and Green Card for children application at the same time. Whereas if you are a lawful permanent resident, your child must wait for the Immigrant Petition to be approved before they can proceed with the Green Card application.

While sponsoring for a green card for your children, the first step is to submit Form I-130, the Immigrant Petition. If your child lives outside the U.S., then the next step in the process is to make the application for the Immigrant Visa at a U.S. consulate which has jurisdiction over your child’s place of residence.

And also note that if your child/ren live in the U.S., then you file form I-485 through which you can adjust your status. As a U.S. Citizen, and if your child lives in the U.S. and is both unmarried and under the age of 21, then you can submit Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same time. This is generally the fastest way to apply for a Green Card. As a Legal Permanent Resident, if your child is married or over 21 or lives outside the U.S., then you must wait for the Form I-130 to be approved before moving to the next step in the process.

If you are a U.S. Citizen, then you may also sponsor your married child for a Green Card. Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens fall in the third-preference category. This means that they must wait for a priority date to become available before they can apply for a visa. In other words, married sons and daughters must wait longer that unmarried sons and daughters to apply for a Green Card.

Legal Permanent Residents may not sponsor their married sons and daughters for a Green Card.

Unmarried children below the age of 21 can be sponsored as “Immediate relatives” by their U.S. Citizen parents. They can apply for a Green Card directly without having to wait for a priority date to become current. The US citizen parent can also sponsor their children who are married or over the age of 21, however these children will not qualify as immediate relatives. These applicants will need to wait for their priority date to be current before they are eligible to apply for a Green Card.

A monthly visa bulletin published by the Department of State tells applicants when their Priority Date is current. Before applying for a green card, applicants must wait for their Priority Date to become current.

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