At the Ranchod Law Group we have relationships with our clients over the course of several years. First, we may help the client with a temporary visa (an H1B or a L visa, for example). Second, we’ll obtain the client’s greencard (lawful permanent residency). Next, we’ll obtain the client’s U.S. citizenship (naturalization). Finally, we will help the client in sponsoring his or her parents or children abroad for immigrant visas (greencards) to the U.S. If you’d like to discuss whether you qualify for your greencard or naturalization, please contact our office. By means of this article, we wish to focus our attention on sponsoring your parents or children for greencards after you have obtained your US Citizenship.
Sponsoring parents or children for greencards
While as a lawful permanent resident you were not able to petition for your mother or father, as a U.S. Citizen you CAN petition for your parent as long as you are 21 years of age or older. Additionally, a parent of a U.S. Citizen is considered an “immediate relative” and therefore does not have to wait for a visa number. The process of bringing your parent over to the U.S. from filing the petition to approval to having your parent enter with their immigrant visa is rather fast.
Bringing Children to the U.S.
In regards to bringing your children to the U.S., the process and waiting times differ depending under which of the following categories your child/ren fits:
- Unmarried child under age 21: Like the parent of a U.S. Citizen, the unmarried child under the age of 21 of a U.S. Citizen is considered an immediate relative and does not have to wait for a visa number. The process for a U.S. Citizen to bring over their unmarried under age 21 children is also quick
- Unmarried child age 21 or older: If your child is not married but over age 21, you will have to file a petition for your child and then after approval, your child will have to wait for a visa number to become available. Currently, the U.S. Department of State is giving immigrant visas to the cases from September 2006. If from Mexico, then September 1993, and if from the Philippines, then January 2001. Hence, if your child is not married but over 21 than there will be long wait for him or her. You may want to contact us to discuss obtaining a different type of temporary visa for your child. When your child does finally come to the U.S., he or she may also bring his or her own unmarried children under the age of 21
- Married son or daughter of any age: If your child is married, regardless of age, your child will have to wait for a visa number to become available. Currently, the U.S. Department of State is giving immigrant visas to the cases from December 2002. If from Mexico, then May 1993, and if from the Philippines, December 1992. Again, you may want to contact us to discuss obtaining a different type of temporary visa for your child. Also, when your child does finally come to the U.S., he or she may also bring his or her own spouse and unmarried children under the age of 21
Petitioning for a stepparent
Finally, please note that a child over the age of 21 can petition for a stepparent. Likewise, a stepparent can petition for a stepchild as long as the stepparent married the child’s natural parent before the child’s 18th birthday. As an example of this latter case, we are currently representing a mother, a lawful permanent resident, who is married to a U.S. Citizen.
Because the mother married her husband while her child was under the age of 18, the U.S. Citizen husband can file a petition for the child as a stepparent just as any parent can file for any child as described above.
If you are interested in petitioning for your parent or child/ren, please contact our office to discuss processing times and documentation requirements (paperwork).