When can you help your child enter the United States?

On Behalf of | Oct 18, 2021 | Family Immigration

Being separated from your child is difficult, but sometimes life requires difficult decisions. You may have had to end an unhappy marriage or travel for work. When there are laws effectively preventing you from reuniting, you may feel isolated and alone.

Sometimes, a United States citizen has a child with a citizen of another country, so that child grows up abroad. Other times, someone enters the United States for work and acquires their Green Card, allowing them to stay indefinitely. They didn’t originally bring their family but now want to explore their options. Even those traveling to the United States for work might want to bring children with them.

When can you help your child enter the United States?

If you have a visa

You have a work visa and want to bring your immediate family, they can apply for visas related to yours. Your spouse and your children under the age of 21 who have not married can potentially also secure visas to travel with you when you enter the United States for an employment opportunity.

If you have a Green Card

When you have a Green Card, you are a lawful permanent resident who can stay in the United States indefinitely. You may be able to apply to bring your children into the United States through a family preference visa.

The second category of the family preferences visa program (F2A) applies to unmarried children under 21 with a relationship to a permanent resident of the United States. The slightly lower priority category F2B allows permanent residents to potentially help unmarried children over the age of 21 enter the country.

If you are a citizen

As a United States citizen, you have the most opportunities to bring a family member to the United States. Your family preference applications may also receive higher priority than those of people who are permanent residence but not citizens. Citizens are typically the only ones who can petition for a married child to enter the country.

Children wanting to join their parents in the United States will be subject to the same background checks and medical examinations as other immigrants, and only those who pass are likely to be successful. Reviewing your own legal status can give you a better idea about what opportunities you have to help your child enter the United States.