I am a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the US. How can I apply for my unmarried adult son or daughter to get a green card?
Start by filing a form I-130 visa petition for your unmarried adult son or daughter. However, the process could take a many years under the family-based 2B category (unmarried adult sons and daughters of LPRs) since the number of people who are allowed to immigrate under this category are extremely limited. And due to per-country limitations, if you were born in a country where many people are seeking to immigrate to the US, the wait could be off the chart (i.e., 28+ years for persons born in the Philippines, 115+ years for persons born in Mexico).
If you later naturalize and become a US citizen, your unmarried adult sons and daughters will retain the priority date of the 2B visa petition and will automatically convert to the 1st preference category (unmarried adult sons and daughters of US citizens).
If the wait under the 1st preference category turns out to be longer, the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) permits your son or daughter to “opt-out” of the conversion, and return to the 2B category despite the fact that you are now a US citizen.
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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Submit the following documents to the USCIS along with the form I-130 and the filing fee:
- A copy of your green card
- A copy of your marriage certificate
- If you or your son or daughter has been previously married, copies of the documents that terminated their previous marriages (i.e., divorce or death certificates)
- Copies of the birth certificate of your son/daughter
Adjustment of Status in the US
If your sons and daughters are lawfully present in the US on a temporary visa, they may be eligible to adjust their status to permanent residents without leaving the US. This is only possible if their temporary status is not due to expire before they can apply for adjustment of status. For example, if they are in H-1B or L-1 status, or possibly F-1 student status.
If they are here on tourist visas, chances are that they will not be able to adjust their status in the US. Each son or daughter must submit a form I-485 packet to the USCIS. You must submit an affidavit of support for each of them.
Immigrant Visas Abroad
If your sons and daughters are residing abroad, once your form I-130 visa petition has been approved, it will be forwarded by the USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC).
As their priority dates near, the NVC will request the required paperwork and filing fees for their interviews at the US Consulate/Embassy abroad where they will be interviewed.
If their interview goes well, they will be given a period of 6 months to come to the US. Only when they are formally admitted to the US by a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer will they become lawful permanent residents of the United States.
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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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