If you are a citizen of the United States you are eligible to sponsor your married children for US green cards. Their spouses and children, if unmarried and under the age of 21, may also immigrate with them. If their children turn 21 during the petitioning process, they can subtract the time that your visa petition was pending from their ages at the time that their priority date becomes current under the Child Status Protection Act.
This can be a lengthy process due to US immigration laws which limit the number persons that are able to immigrate in this category each year. This number is currently set at 23,400 persons annually and considering over 800,000 people are already waiting in line, it will take about 10 to 11 years until they are able to immigrate. There are also country quotas in place which will increase the waiting time for those who were born in the Philippines and Mexico to over 20 years.
You can stay up-to-date with the waiting times in the Visa Bulletin and other immigration news by subscribing to our Free E-Mail Newsletter.
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If you wish to begin the petition process, you will need to submit the following forms and documentation to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS):
- Form I-130 Visa Petition
- Proof of your US citizenship
- Evidence of your parental relationship
Based on your situation, proof of your relationship to your children can be shown through:
- Son or daughter’s birth certificate and your marriage certificate
- Documents showing death or divorce of your previous spouses
If you are a step-parent or parent through adoption then refer to Form I-130 for further instructions. In order for your son or daughters spouse to immigrate with them you must submit their marriage certificate as well as documentation of the termination of any previous marriages.
It is important to note that if your name or the name of your son or daughter has changed since birth, you must submit further documentation showing the legality of the name change.
After all necessary forms and documents have been submitted to the USCIS and all filing fees paid, they will review your case. If approved, your married children, and their spouses and children, will receive green cards and become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
Green Cards for your Married Children Links
- Green Card for Family Member of US Citizen (USCIS)
- How do I help my relative get a US Green Card (USCIS)
- Green Card Eligibility (USCIS)
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Green Cards Through Employment
Green Cards Through Marriage
Carl Shusterman served as an INS Trial Attorney (1976-82) before opening a firm specializing exclusively in US immigration law. He is a Certified Specialist in Immigration Law who has testified as an expert witness before the US Senate Immigration Subcommittee. Carl was featured in the February 2018 edition of SuperLawyers Magazine.
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