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How You Can Bring Your Children to the U.S. For Permanent Residency

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How You Can Bring Your Children to the U.S. For Permanent Residency

Many non-U.S. citizens end up in the United States under circumstances that do not allow their children to accompany them. At the Law Office of Robert D. Ahlgren and Associates, we help families in the Chicago area find ways to bring their children to the U.S. as permanent residents.

Understanding U.S. Immigration Classification of Children

U.S. immigration law defines who a child is for immigration purposes, and their age and marital status have a significant bearing on how their cases are processed:

  • A “child” for immigration purposes is an unmarried person who is under the age of 21.
  • A “son” or “daughter” is an offspring who is married or is older than 21 years.

If you are a parent of any of the above-described children, you can petition to have your child, son, or daughter come to the United States as permanent residents, based on your family relationship.

However, petitioning the government for your qualifying relative to come to the United States as permanent residents is one thing, but how long the process will take is quite another matter.

The classification of these offspring under immigration law means some can obtain their permanent residency quickly while others will have to wait a long time before that happens, depending on their classification and whether you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder).

U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen, you can petition for the following offspring:

  • Children who are under 21 years and are not married
  • Sons and daughters who are unmarried over the age of 21
  • Married sons and daughters of any age

The children of the offspring or their spouses can be included in the petition.

The key here is how long it would take for any of these offspring to get their visas. The unmarried child under the age of 21 years will usually be the fastest ones to process and get their green cards, and the married sons and daughters will take the longest, usually years before they can get their green cards. 

Permanent Resident (Green Card holder)

If you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), you can petition for the following offspring:

  • Unmarried child under the age of 21
  • Unmarried daughters and sons of any age

The children of the offspring or their spouses can be included in your petition.

Just as there are waiting periods for the various offspring of a U.S. citizen, there is an even longer waiting period for offspring of Green Card holders. In some cases, it may be advantageous for a Green Card holder to apply and become a U.S. citizen and process for their child under that status.

There are also other considerations that determine how long it will take to process for your offspring, such as whether the child, son, or daughter is in the United States or outside. If they are in the United States, their immigration status will be considered.

Discuss Your Situation with a Chicago Immigration Lawyer

If you are in the Chicago area and have a child you wish to bring to the United States as a permanent resident, contact our office today, and one of our experienced immigration lawyers will guide you in the process.

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