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In this article you will get an answer to a topic highly requested by our clients: “How to bring my son to the U. S.” At Curbelo Law we have over 10 years of experience in this type of immigration cases and matters.

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.

How to bring my son or daughter to the U. S. in 2022

If you are a U. S. citizen or 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. Among the procedures to be submitted we find:

  • File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services; USCIS. This document must be completed and signed.
  • You must show some evidence of U.S. citizenship, including 1 copy of some of the following:
    • Certificate of birth in the United States.
    • Valid U. S. passport.
    • Consular process where your data from the country where you were born is displayed.
    • Certificate of naturalization.
    • Certificate of U. S. citizenship.
  • In case you are a permanent resident, you must show one of these documents:
    • 1 copy (front and back) of Form I-551 (Green Card).
    • 1 copy of your foreign passport where permanent residence as temporary evidence. 
  • In the event that your name or that of your minor child has changed, you will need to show legal evidence of this name change. To do this, you can submit:
    • A marriage certificate.
    • Divorce document.
    • Adoption document.
    • Name change order.
  • Some evidence of your current relationship with your child.

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

At Curbelo Law, the attorney Carolina Curbelo, specializes in providing a complete service, also in those cases where the process to obtain American citizenship is within your requirements.

We can help to bring your son, daughter and other family members and Relatives To The United States

At Curbelo Law we can also help you bring other family members to the United States. We have covered these in detailed articles on our website:

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

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

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. 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 their spouse’s children (stepchildren) who can automatically become U. S. citizens.

You can get all of this information from INA Section 320 by reviewing USCIS Policy Manual Volume 12, Part H, Children of US Citizens, Chapter 4; Automatic Acquisition of Citizenship after Birth.

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.

  • 1 copy of the birth certificate of the minor child issued by a 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 along with the Form I-130.

  • 1 copy of the birth certificate of your minor child issued by a legal civil authority.
  • 1 copy of your marriage certificate with the biological mother of your child or the legal gestational mother.
  • In the event of a divorce by your parents, submitting evidence of legal divorce from your biological parents’ marriage may be due to:
    • Death of one of the parents.
    • Marriage annulment. 
    • Total legal divorce. 
  • If you never married the mother of the youngest child before he turned 18, you should consider the following:
    • If the minor child is not legally legitimized, you must present some evidence of a parent-child relationship before the minor turned 21 or married.
      • This evidence must be presented as financial or emotional involvement with the minor.
    • If the minor child was considered a legitimate child by you, you do not need to provide any information.
requirements to bring your children as american citizens or residents

Stepparents Who Want To petition to bring their son or daughter to the United States

Stepfathers and / or stepmothers can petition to bring their child to the U. S. as long as they submit the following additional documents to Form I-130:

  • 1 copy of the stepchild’s birth certificate, issued by a legal civil authority.
  • 1 copy of the civil marriage certificate with the father or the biological or legal gestational mother of your stepchild.
  • 1 proof of legal termination of previous marriages and / or of the biological or legal gestational father or mother, where the 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 bring their children, as long as the following additional documents are submitted with the Form I-130:

  • 1 copy of the child’s original birth certificate.
  • 1 copy of the final legal decree of adoption.
  • 1 evidence that you had at least 2 years of legal custody from a court.
  • 1 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 who are in the United States can also petition for children already living within the United States. All this is thanks to the family reunification that is processed through Form I-130. This way you can:

Petition to bring a Child Who Lives In The U. S. and is Unmarried And Under The Age Of 21

To do this, you can submit Form I-485, Application for Permanent Residence 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

Can a US citizen sponsor a child over 21? Yes. In this case, file Form I-130. 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 permanent resident or a Green Card Holder

To do this, you must file Form I-130. 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, ready our publication where we explain this in detail. 

American citizen petition to bring a child of legal age

American citizens can petition to bring their children of legal age; that is, over 21 years old and obtain a Green Card through Form I-130.

Children over 21 years of age are not considered immediate relatives, so the process to obtain a Green Card will be longer compared to children who are 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 even though these visa numbers are limited. Which means that immediate relatives will always be given priority, as opposed to private family members.

The Family Preference Category

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

  • Married children of any age.
  • The brothers and sisters 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. The number of Green Cards issued per year is approximately 23,400.

Green cards are issued chronologically from the dates 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 that date.

Conditional Residence And How To Revoke Your Conditionality

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

In the event that you apply to the parent of the child, this parent will be granted Conditional Permanent Resident Status. You must file Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions on Residence if you wish to lift the conditional status of permanent residence 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 your child are granted CPR at the same time, the child can be included within the same Form I-751 petition.
  • If the child becomes a permanent U. S. resident 90 days after their spouse, then your child will need to file Form I-751 separately. 

The Form I-751 must be processed within the period of 90 days before the expiration date of the conditional residence. If you do not submit said process within the indicated period, your spouse and your child can be immediately expelled from the United States.

What 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.

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. Below we will answer many of the frequent doubts that our clients face.

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

You can know the processing time of the NVC by following these 2 steps:

  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 from 10 to 20 years; based on current processing times. There is a limited number of visas issued annually for this type of family reunification.

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.

Can My Child Come To The United States While their Application Is Pending?

If you are a U. S. citizen, after filing Form I-130, your minor child will be eligible to apply for a K-4 non-immigrant visa. 

The non-immigrant visa will grant your child permission to live, study and/or work in the United States while their visa petition is in process. In order to apply for this process, you must process Form I- 129F, Petition for Foreign Fiancé (e).

If your child is abroad and you want to wait abroad until the visa process is complete, you will not need to process the Form I-129F or the K-4 visa.

Remember to visit our publication focused on what are the types of visas in the United States to obtain 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 request to bring your child to the U. S. is denied or rejected, the same denial letter will inform you of the steps to follow to find out 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 If My Child Lives Illegally In The United States?

No matter what type of person lives 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 Carolina T. Curbelo by your side will be your best chance to avoid removal. 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 broad response to the main topic of the article: “How to bring my son to U. S.” If you are looking for immigration attorneys to petition to bring your children to the United States, do not hesitate to contact us today. The Curbelo Law firm will assist you in any type of immigration case in New Jersey and in consular processes and other matters globally.

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 for your case from Latino immigrant attorneys who understand your situation.