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Green Card to Bring Child or Children to USA for Immigration

Green Card for Brother or Sister

Green Card Child Children Immigration US Immigrant Visa Permanent Resident

International Money Transfer - International Money Order
THIS ARTICLE

This page explains how to petition for a Green Card for your child (an immigrant visa for permanent residency, US immigration). For information on birth situations, see Birth Abroad: Child Born Abroad to a US Citizen or Permanent Resident. For information on adoptions, see International Adoptions.

Green Card Immigration Eligibility for My Child or Children
A U.S. citizen may petition for a Green Card to bring a child to live and work in the United States permanently, regardless of the child's age or marital status. A lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) may only petition for an unmarried child of any age.

If you had children before you obtained a Green Card (became a permanent resident), your children may be eligible to receive following-to-join benefits. This means that you would not have to submit a separate USCIS Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for your children, and your children will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. See Children Green Card Application for Children, Child Green Card for more information on following-to-join benefits.

Please note that if you are a U.S. citizen, you do not need to file separate visa petitions for the unmarried, minor children of your unmarried child over the age of 21. You also do not need to file separate visa petitions for the spouse or unmarried, minor children of your married child of any age. If you are a legal permanent resident (Green Card holder), you do not need to file separate visa petitions for the unmarried, minor children of your unmarried child.

You should also be prepared to prove that you meet the income requirement of a sponsor.  Your household income should be sufficient to support your family at 125% or more above the U.S. poverty level for your household size. For more details, see Affidavit of Support Guide (Form I-864).


Green Card Immigration Process for My Child or Children
An immigrant (also called a Green Card holder and "lawful permanent resident") is a foreign national who has gone through the US immigration process and been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. Your child or children must go through a multi-step immigration process to become an immigrant and obtain a Green Card.  First, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) must approve an immigrant petition that you file for your children. Second, the State Department must give your children an immigrant visa number, even if your children are already in the United States. Third, if your children are already in the United States, your children may apply to adjust to permanent resident status when a visa number becomes available. If your children are outside the United States when an immigrant visa number becomes available, your children will be notified to go to the local U.S. Consulate to complete the immigration processing for an immigrant visa (Green Card).


Green Card Application for My Child or Children
To find out how you can petition for your child to go through the US immigration process and obtain a Green Card to live in the United States permanently, please see Children Green Card Application for Children, Child Green Card.


Immigrant Visa Number for My Child or Children
If you are a U.S. Citizen and the immigrant visa petition is approved for your unmarried child(ren) under the age of 21, an immigrant visa number will be immediately available to them; if the immigrant visa petition is approved for your unmarried child(ren) 21 years of age or older, or for your married child(ren), they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the preference system.

If you are a legal permanent resident (Green Card holder) and the immigrant visa petition is approved for your unmarried child of any age, they must wait for an immigrant visa number to become available according to the preference system.

Those that must wait according to the preference system may not get an immigrant visa number immediately after the immigrant visa petition is approved for them (because the number of immigrant visa numbers that are available each year is limited). In some cases, several years could pass between the time USCIS approves the immigrant visa petition and the State Department provides an immigrant visa number. Because U.S. law also limits the number of immigrant visas available by country, they may have to wait longer if they come from a country with a high demand for U.S. immigrant visas.  For more information, see The Preference System: US Immigration Visa Preference Categories for Green Card and Immigrant Visa Numbers: National Visa Center and the US Visa Bulletin. If you are adopting a child, please see International Adoption Immigration. If you are a refugee or asylee, please see How Do I Get My Spouse or Children Refugee or Asylee Status in the United States?


Work Permit for My Child or Children
Your children do not need to apply for a work permit once they are admitted as an immigrant with their Green Card (immigrant visa) or have already been approved for adjustment to permanent resident status. As a legal permanent resident, your children should receive Permanent Resident Cards (commonly referred to as 'Green Cards') that will prove that they have gone through the US immigration process and have a right to live and work in the United States permanently. If your children are now outside the United States, they will receive a passport stamp upon arrival in the United States. This stamp will prove that they are allowed to work until a Green Card (Permanent Resident Card) is created.

If your children are in the U.S. and have applied to adjust to permanent resident status (by filing USCIS Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), they are eligible to apply for a work permit while their case is pending if they are over the age of 14. Your children should use USCIS Form I-765 to apply for a work permit (see Obtaining a Work Permit for more information).


Checking the Status of a Green Card Application for My Child or Children
You may check the status of your application or case online, by phone, or by contacting an appropriate USCIS office. For details see USCIS Case Status: Check USCIS Case Status for Visas and Immigration. You may also want to review US Visa Wait Times and USCIS Immigration Processing Times. For more assistance, see HELP! (below).


Appealing if a Green Card is Denied for My Child or Children

If the visa petition you filed for your child is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal. Generally, you may appeal within 33 days of receiving the denial. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals in Washington, D.C. For more information, see How to Appeal if USCIS Denied My Petition or Application (US Immigration, Green Card Denial).


Help! with Green Card Immigration for My Child or Children


Additional Information on Green Card Immigration for My Child or Children

For details on filing the immigrant visa petition for your children, see:
Children Green Card Application for Children, Child Green Card

For an overview of the preference system, see:
The Preference System: US Immigration Visa Preference Categories for Green Card

For more information on immigrant visa numbers, please see:
Immigrant Visa Numbers: National Visa Center and the US Visa Bulletin

For details on sponsorship eligibility, including the income requirement, see:
Affidavit of Support Guide (Form I-864)

For more details on adjusting to permanent resident status if your children are already in the United States, see:
Green Card: Become a Permanent Resident While in the U.S. (Adjust Status)

If your children are in the U.S. and want to work while their application to adjust to permanent resident status is pending, see:
Obtaining a Work Permit

If your children are in the U.S. and need to travel outside the U.S. while their application to adjust to permanent resident status is pending, see:
Advance Parole: Foreign Travel with a Pending Green Card Immigration Application

For online immigration forms and fee information, including fee waivers, see:
USCIS Forms / INS Forms and Other US Immigration Forms, Fees & Filing Locations

If you are outside of the United States and need information regarding immigrating to the United States, contact your nearest U.S. Consulate:
U.S. Consulate & Embassy Website Locator

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