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In this article you will be able to get a clear answer to the question: “How to bring my son to the U. S.” At Curbelo Law we have more than 10 years of experience in this type of cases.

If you are looking for personalized legal advice, you can count on the help of our immigration attorneys in New Jersey, who will provide you with complete assistance for this type family-based immigration petition to the United States.

I Am A U. S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident And I Need to know How to bring my son to the U. S. in 2024

If you are a U. S. citizen or lawful permanent resident, you can petition to bring your children to live in the United States. To do this, you will need to submit some documents required for the application process:

  • File Form I-130, petition for a foreign relative with USCIS. This document must be completed and signed.
  • You must show some evidence of U. S. citizenship. It can be a copy of some of the following:
    • U. S. birth certificate.
    • Valid U. S. passport.
    • Consular processing with data from your country of origin.
    • Certificate of naturalization or U. S. citizenship.

Additional Documentation For Lawful Permanent Residents

Lawful permanent residents must show one of these documents to USCIS:

  • Copy (front and back) of Form I-551 (Green Card).
  • Copy of your foreign passport showing permanent residency as temporary evidence. 

In the event that the name of the applicant and/or that of their minor child has changed, you must show evidence with one of the following documents:

  • Marriage certificate.
  • Divorce document.
  • Adoption document.
  • Name change order.
  • Some evidence of the current relationship you have with your son or daughter.

It is important to keep in mind that your child’s age and marital status are extremely important factors for the immigration process to be accepted. Therefore, your child must be under 21 years of age and a single person.

At Curbelo Law, attorneys Carolina Curbelo and Sharon Lieberman specialize in providing full service. For example, in those cases where the you plan to get U. S, citizenship too.

You can also include an application for American citizenship for your immediate family members. We have covered this in different blogs on the web:

Petitions For Your Minor Children To Live In The U. S. As Lawful Permanent Residents

If you are a U. S. lawful resident or citizen and want to petition to bring your child, you can do so through the following procedures:

petition to bring my son if he is outside the usa

U.S. Citizen Petition To Bring A Son Or Daughter

  • You can petition to bring your unmarried sons and daughters to the U. S. and those under the age of 21.
  • You can petition to bring for your unmarried sons and daughters of 21 years of age or older.
    • Your children’s children (your grandchildren) can also be included in this petition.
  • Married sons and daughters (regardless of age).
    • The spouse of your sons and daughters can also be included in this petition.

U. S. Lawful Resident Petition To Bring A Child

  • You can petition to bring your children and children who are unmarried and under 21 years of age.
    • The children of your sons and daughters (your grandchildren) can be included in this petition.
  • You can ask petition to bring unmarried sons and daughters if they are 21 years old or older.
    • Your children’s children (your grandchildren) can also be included in the petition.

U. S. Military Service Members Petition To Bring A Son Or Daughter

Children of U. S. military service members can be petitioned by their parents. This includes your spouse’s children (stepchildren) who can automatically become American citizens. 

You might want to check our blog on Military Parole in Place for further information on benefits for military families.

Petitioning To Bring A Child If You Are The Biological Mother

If you are the biological mother of your child you will need to submit this additional document to Form I-130.

  • Copy of the birth certificate of the minor child issued by any legal civil authority.

Petitioning To Bring Your Child If You Are The Biological Father

If you are the biological father of your child, you will need to submit the following documents with your Form I-130.

requirements to bring your children as american citizens or residents
  • Copy of your minor child’s birth certificate issued by any legal civil authority.
  • Copy of your marriage certificate with the biological mother of your child or the legal gestational mother.
  • In the event of a divorce on the part of your parents, sumbit evidence of legal divorce from your biological parents’ marriage. This may be due to:
    • Death of one of the parents.
    • Marriage annulment. 
    • Full legal divorce. 
  • If you never married the mother of your minor child’s before they turn 18, you should keep the following in mind:
    • If the minor child is not legally legitimized, you must submit some evidence where you had a parent-child relationship before the child turned 21 or got married. Such evidence must be submitted as a financial or emotional involvement with the minor.
    • If the minor child was considered a legitimate child by you, you will not need to provide any information.

Stepparents Who Want To Petition To Bring Their Son Or Daughter To The United States

Stepparents may petition to bring their child as long as they submit the following additional documents to Form I-130:

  • Copy of the stepchild’s birth certification, issued by some legal civil authority.
  • Copy of the civil marriage certification with the biological or legal gestational father or mother of your stepson.
  • Proof of legal termination of previous marriages and/or of the biological or legal gestational father or mother, where divorce, death or marriage annulment is decreed.

Adoptive Parent Who Wants To Petition To Bring Their Child To The U. S.

Adoptive parents may petition to bringr their children, as long as the following additional documents are submitted with the Form I-130:

  • Copy of the child’s original birth certificate.
  • Copy of the final legal adoption decree.
  • Evidence that you had at least 2 years of legal custody issued by a court.
  • Evidence that you had at least 2 years of physical custody of the child.

How To Petition To Bring A Child Who Already Lives In The United States?

Parents in the U. S. can also petition for children already living within the United States through Form I-130 family reunification.

Petition To Bring An unmarried Child Who Lives In The U. S. And is Under The Age Of 21

To do this, you can submit Form I-485, application for permanent residency or adjustment of status, processed together with Form I-130.

what is adjustment of status

We invite you to review our article of interest on adjustment of status in the United States

Petition To Bring A Child Living In The U. S. Who Is Married And 21 Years Of Age Or Older

In this case, submit I-130 form. Your son or daughter will need to file Form I-485 when a visa number is available.

Petition To Bring Your Child Who Lives In The U. S If You Are A Lawful Permanent Resident Or A Green Card Holder

To do this you must process the I-130 form. Your son or daughter will need to file Form I-485 when a visa number is available.

If you are interested in knowing how to get a Green Card, we explain it in detail in our publication. 

American Citizen Petition To Bring A Child Of Legal Age

U. S. citizens can apply for their children over 21 years of age and obtain a Green Card through form I-130.

These are not considered immediate family members, so the process to obtain a Green Card will be longer compared to children under 21 years of age.

We remind you that immediate family members are:

  • Spouses.
  • Unmarried children under 21 years of age.
  • Parents of American citizens.

All those considered immediate relatives will always have a visa number available although these are limited. This means that immediate relatives will always be given priority, as opposed to other family members.

The Family Preference Category

There is a family preference category for those children who are not married but over 21 years of age, other members within this category are:

  • Married children of any age.
  • Siblings of the American citizen (the American citizen must be over 21 years of age).

Family members within this category will have a limited number of immigrant visas. In general, preferential visas for family sponsorship are limited to only 226,000 visas per year. 

Green Cards are issued chronologically from the dates on which the application was submitted, that date becomes a priority date for the applicant, making it impossible for an applicant to obtain the Green Card before said date.

Conditional Residence And How To Revoke Your Conditionality

If you are applying for a stepson or stepdaughter and you have not married the child’s biological father or mother, when the children receive permanent residency, they will also be granted Conditional Permanent Residence (CPR) status.

If you apply for the child’s father or mother, this parent will be granted CPR Status. You must file Form I-751 to revoke this conditional status for your child.

i am an american citizen and i want to bring my daughter of legal age

Form I-90, Application to Replace Green Card is NOT used to lift conditional residency. 

  • In the event that your spouse and child are granted CPR at the same time, the child may be included within the same Form I-751 petition.
  • If the child becomes a U. S. lawful permanent resident 90 days after their spouse, then your child will need to file Form I-751 separately. 

The I-751 form must be processed within the period of 90 days before the expiration date of the conditional residence. If you do not submit this procedure within the indicated period, your spouse and child may be immediately deported from the United States.

Which Children Are Considered Minors In The Immigration Process?

If you have a “minor” child, they must be under 21 years of age. However, for immigration purposes, a child can be considered a “minor” as long as they are:

  • Biological childs born within marriage.
  • Biological childs born out of wedlock.
    • Legitimation is not required if the mother is the one who petitions to bring the child.
    • Legitimation is required if the father is the one who petitions to bring the child.
    • If not legitimized by the father, you must have some proof that shows a father and son or daughter relationship before the son or daughter turned 21 years of age.
    • Children conceived via Assisted Reproductive Technology; ART, from a legal gestational mother, can be considered “minor” children.
  • Stepchildren who were legally married before turning 18 years of age.
  • Adopted children as long as the adoption was before they turned 16 years old. Legal and physical custody of the adoptive parent must be filed for at least 2 years.

Did you know that unaccompanied immigrant minors often face difficult scenarios in the U. S? For example, they could be detained by the authorities. On our blog, you can find information on how to find a minor detained by immigration.

Frequently Asked Questions On How To Bring My Son To U. S

The question “How to bring my son to the U. S” involves many related questions. Here you have answers to the most frequent ones, but remember that only our attorneys are qualified to provide specific information. Send us your query because it does not commit you to anything and it can be the beginning to reunite with your loved ones.

How Long Does The Application Take To Petition To Bring A Child Over 21 Years Of Age?

You can know the NVC processing time, for this:

  1. Access the official website of the Department of State.
  2. Enter the case number assigned by USCIS once approved by USCIS. 

This process can take 10 to 20 years; based on current processing times and annual visa limitation.

Can I Petition To Bring A Child Who Lives Outside The United States?

Yes, you will simply need to file Form I-130 and send it to the consulate. Once a visa number is available you will be notified by the consulate.

The U. S. consulate or embassy will send you more information regarding the procedure and the steps to follow. If you have questions, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Can My Child Come To The United States While Their Application Is On Hold?

After filing Form I-130, your minor child will be eligible to apply for a K-4 nonimmigrant visa. This visa gives your child permission to go to the United States to:

  • Live, 
  • Study and 
  • Work while their visa petition is in process.

However, to start this process, you must process Form I-129F, petition for foreign fiancee.

If your child is abroad and you prefer to wait outside the U. S. until the process is complete, you will not need to file Form I-129F or apply for a K-4 visa.

Remember to our blog focused on the types of American visas for more information regarding this.

Can I Appeal If My Application To Bring My Child To The U. S. Is Denied?

In the event that your application to bring your child to the U. S. was denied, the same denial letter will inform you of the steps to follow to know how and when to appeal.

For this, you must submit an appeal form for your immigration decision and its corresponding fee, which will be processed. Such appeal will be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals. 

What Happens If My Child Lives Illegally In The United States?

If you plan to bring your son to the U. S. or and they are under unlawful presence it doesn’t matter if is your son, daughter or any other person living illegally in the United States, they may be at risk of receiving a sanction of inadmissibility or immediate deportation.

In these cases, having an experienced immigration attorney like Sharon Lieberman or Carolina T. Curbelo will be your best chance to avoid deportation. A viable resource will be to study a possible cancellation of removal or other available immigration relief.

how can an illegal immigrant become legal in the U. S.

Either way, if you are illegal in the U. S. and want to be legal, there are a number of ways you can go through this process. The same applies if you want to get married in the United States while being and undocumented immigrant or if you are wondering how to get a job in the United States while being illegal.

Immigration Attorneys For Parent-Child Petitions To Bring Your Loved Ones To The U. S.

We have already given a comprehensive response to the main topic of the article: “How to bring my son to U. S.” If you are looking for experts in U. S. immigration law who can help you petition to bring your children to the United States, do not hesitate to contact us. Curbelo Law has been dedicated to this for more than a decade. From our office in New Jersey we have helped immigrants from all over Latin America reunite with their loved ones.

With more than 10 years of experience in immigration cases, we can help you in a wide variety of matters, from waivers of inadmissibility to understanding the DACA application requirements, among many other matters of immigration law. 

Call today and get the best private advice from Latino immigrant lawyers.