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When can a citizen help their child enter the United States?

On Behalf of | Nov 19, 2021 | Immigration |

Parents can sometimes find themselves separated from their children not just by family issues but also by international borders. Maybe you entered the United States on a visa and eventually became a naturalized citizen. Perhaps you were always a citizen but had a child with someone who does not live in the United States. Either way, you have someone you love who you rarely get to see.

When you have a non-citizen child, you may want to help them enter the United States. If your child or their other parent agrees with you, you are in a position to help them enter the country. As a citizen, you have the most options available for family-based immigration. Through your relationship and your citizenship status, you can help your child secure a visa.

When can you potentially help your child enter the United States?

When they are unmarried and under the age of 21

The easiest way to help your child come to the United States is to start the process while they are still young and single. The strongest family-based immigration rights for children exist when they are under the age of 21 and not yet married.

You can potentially obtain an immediate relative immigrant (K-3) visa for your child. This visa would allow them to enter the country if they meet certain medical and background check criteria. They might eventually qualify for a green card to stay in the country. This method is advantageous because there aren’t as many limitations on the number of people who use this system as there are on other immigration programs.

When they are older or already married

If your child is already over the age of 21 or has a spouse, you don’t have to endure permanent separation. There are still immigration options.

However, it may take longer because of the program you will have to use. The family preference visa program has categories for married children and children over the age of 21. However, given how competitive and limited the family preference visa program is, it could take multiple years and attempts to get a visa through this program.

Knowing your options can help you pursue the best family-based immigration option for your current family situation.