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How is a “child” defined for family-based immigration?

On Behalf of | Mar 25, 2021 | Immigration Law

Bringing family members to the United States is a dream for many individuals — but understanding exactly who qualifies for family-based immigration can sometimes be harder than you might think.

Making sure that their children come to this country with them are a priority for most parents. In order to petition for your children to come here, however, your children must meet specific requirements

Who is considered a child for family-based immigration purposes?

There are a few ways that a person can be considered a child of the petitioner. These include:

  • A biological child: Proving legitimacy might be necessary if the child is born out of wedlock and the father is the petitioner.
  • A step-child: The marriage between the parent and step-parent must occur before the child turns 18 years old.
  • A child born through assisted reproductive technology: The petitioner must be a legal parent in the relevant jurisdiction.
  • An adopted child: The adoption must be completed before the child turns 16; however, it’s sometimes possible for this to occur before the child is 18. Some other requirements are necessary for adopted children.

Children who are unmarried and under 21 years old can be included on a petition by a permanent resident or citizen. Those over 21 years old must be unmarried if the petitioner is a permanent resident, but they can be married if the petitioner is a citizen. 

Anyone who has questions about the immigration process should discuss their case with an attorney who’s familiar with these cases. This can help them to determine a course of action and plan for what the process might entail for them. In today’s immigration process, it’s always wise to seek help as early as possible on your journey.