Immigration Petition For Children
Immigrant Visa Petition for a Child, Son or Daughter of a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident-Green Card Holder.
An Immigrant visa petition may be filed on behalf of a child by either a United States Citizen Parent or a Lawful Permanent Resident Parent. These are the eligible Petitioners.
A United States citizen may petition for both minor Children, adult children, adopted children as well as married and unmarried children.
Lawful Permanent Resident may file an Immigrant Visa Petition on behalf of minor children, adult children, adopted children and unmarried children.
A United States Citizen may also file an Immigrant Visa Petition for an orphan, a Lawful Permanent Resident may not;
Basic factors taken into consideration are
- The petitioner’s status,
- The beneficiary’s age,
- The beneficiary’s marital status, and
- The relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.
With each of these factors, the criteria must be met at the time of filing, during adjudication of the petition, after the petition’s approval and until the beneficiary becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident; otherwise, the petition’s approval may be revoked.
The beneficiary of a visa Petition falls under different categories or classification which is determined by the above factors.
If under 21 years and unmarried, beneficiary is considered to be a child.
If 21 years or older or if married, beneficiary is considered a son or daughter.
Since a Lawful Permanent Resident can petition on behalf of an unmarried son or daughter regardless of their age, it is important that the beneficiary has either never been married or has terminated any and all prior marriages before the petitioner files the petition in order for the beneficiary to be found eligible.
The Nature of the relationship (e.g., legitimate Child, illegitimate Child, adopted Child, Step Child) is important as well as the point at which the relationship existed.
Immigrant Visa Petition for Child Born in Wedlock also Referred to as “Legitimate Child”
The phrase born in wedlock” refers to Children whose parents were married at the time of their birth. This also includes Children born to a couple in a “common law” marriage, if the common law marriage is recognized by the State or foreign country in which the couple resides. Both Parents if eligible will qualify as Petitioners.
Immigrant Visas Petition for Child Born out of Wedlock also Referred to as “Illegitimate Child”
The mother of an illegitimate Child always qualifies as a petitioner. The natural father of a Child born out of wedlock may petition for that Child, if the father has legitimated such Child or has a bona fide parent- Child relationship with the Child. A bona fide Parent-Child relationship is established when the father has or had shown an active concern for the Child’s support, instruction and general welfare. The Parent-Child relationship must be established while the Child is unmarried and under twenty-one (21) years of age.
Immigrant Visa Petition for a Step Child.
A Step Parent qualifies as a Petitioner where a step relationship exists. A Step Child Relationship is created for Immigration law Purpose whenever a natural parent of the Child marries someone else other than the Child’s other natural parent before the Child’s 18th birthday. The relationship is created automatically as a result of the marriage, assuming that the marriage is not a sham. Normally, a Step Child Relationship terminates when a marriage ends, especially if it ends in divorce. However, under certain circumstances a step Child relationship may continue after the death of the natural parent or even after the legal separation or divorce of the step Parent and natural Parent if there is an ongoing relationship between the Step Parent and Step Child. Where the Marriage ends in annulment the step relationship is deemed to have never existed because legally the marriage never existed. The creation of a step relationship in no way terminates the relationship between the Child and his or her other natural parent. A Child who acquired Lawful Permanent Resident status through a stepparent may later petition for the other natural parent once the Child naturalizes and reaches the age of 21.
Immigrant Visa Petition for a Child Adopted While Under the Age of Sixteen.
An adoptive parent qualifies as a Petitioner and can file a family based Immigrant Visa petition on behalf of a Child adopted while under the age of sixteen years if the Child has been in the legal custody of and has resided with, the adopting parent or parents for at least two years. No natural parent of any such adopted Child shall thereafter, by virtue of such parentage, be accorded any right, privilege, or status under the Immigration Laws of the United States since their natural relationship was severed through the adoption. Aliens who gained Legal Permanent status in the U.S. through adoptive parents are not eligible to pass any Immigration benefits to their natural parents. Such Child is prohibited from petitioning for his or her natural parent(s), since the relationship between the Child and the natural parent(s) was severed at the time of the adoption.
An adopted Child may not confer Immigration benefits upon his or her natural sibling, because their common natural parent no longer has the status of parent of the adopted Child for Immigration purposes.
However, if the adoption in question does not meet the requirements of the Immigration Laws of the United States e.g. if the Child was over age 16 at the time of the adoption, then the Child is not prohibited from petitioning for such natural parent(s).
Upon approval of the Immigrant Visa Petition, adjustment of status to that of a Lawful Permanent resident can be pursued either in the U.S. through the green card process or outside the U.S. through an Immigrant visa application at the foreign Embassy.
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