How to Bring Children, Parents, Sons, and Daughters to Live in the US
US Visas for Parents – Who Can File a Visa Petition for a Parent?
Only U.S. citizens over the age of 21 can file visa petitions for their parents. Legal Permanent Residents cannot file visa petitions for parents.
US Visas for Child – Who Can File a Visa Petition for a Child?
US citizens can file visa petitions for their children under 21 and their adult sons and daughters over 21. Legal permanent residents of the U.S. can only file visa petitions for unmarried children under the age of 21 or unmarried sons and daughters over 21. If a child of a legal permanent resident marries, that child cannot be petitioned for by the parent until the parent becomes a U.S. citizen. Also, any pending petition for a child of a legal permanent resident of the U.S. would be automatically voided by the marriage of the child.
US Visas for Parents & Child – What Evidence of the Parent/Child Relationship is Required for a Visa Application?
In every parent/child visa case the relationship between the parent and child must be proven. In the case of a child petitioning for a mother or a mother petitioning for a child all that must be proven is that the mother gave birth to the child. Usually, a birth certificate is enough to do this. However, in the case of a child petitioning for a father or a father petitioning for a child, it can be more complicated.
If a father is petitioning for a child or a child for his or her father and the father was married to the mother when the child was born, the person is considered to be the father of the child. A marriage certificate showing that the parents were married before the child’s birth will be required. If this marriage certificate can be produced, no further proof of relationship will be required by USCIS.
However, if the father and mother were not married at the time of the child’s birth, the existence of the father/child relationship will have to be proven in other ways. For example, if the father and mother of the child never married the child can be considered an “illegitimate child” and the father/child relationship can be proven through a combination of biological evidence and proof that the father took an active interest in the life of the child before his or her 18th birthday.
Alternatively, a child can be considered “legitimated” if it can be shown that the father and mother married before the child’s 18th birthday. In a case like this USCIS will request that biological evidence, which can include DNA evidence, be provided to prove the parent/child relationship. Further, an out-of-wedlock child can also be considered “legitimated” if evidence is provided that the father acknowledged the child as his own in some way before the child’s 18th birthday. This can be through a written statement or any other acknowledgment of paternity. Also, the child can be considered “legitimated” if it was legitimated under the laws of the country in which the father lived or the laws of the country in which the child lived before the child turned 18 years old.
Since these situations are complex and each one is unique an experienced immigration lawyer should be contacted to evaluate each case before it is filed.
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