Form I-130: Bringing Your Adult Children to the U.S. as a Green Card Holder

Having your family members across the globe as you sit in the U.S. is, understandably, difficult. You might have heard of the K1 visa, which allows foreign aliens to move to the U.S. in exchange for marrying a U.S. citizen within 90 days of their arrival. This has been popularized through 90 Day Fiancé and the show’s various spinoffs and is just one example of numerous visa types that can be used to bring over family members to the U.S. 

This blog will focus on Form I-130 from the USCIS, which can be used by both U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents to petition for children, sons, and daughters to legally come to the U.S. Now, before we start explaining the process for submitting Form I-130, we need to go over the differences between a “child” and a “son” or “daughter” in the context of immigration. 

A child is someone who is younger than 21 and unmarried. For the purposes of Form I-130, a child must be living outside the U.S. and have one of these relationships with the petitioner:

  • Naturally born to married parents 
  • Naturally born to unmarried parents and the father later married the mother or entered into a “bona fide parent-child relationship”
  • Stepchildren if the child was under 18 when the parents married. Additionally, the parents must still be married. 

A child becomes a son or daughter when, simply, they get married or reach the age of 21. The key difference among the options for a U.S. citizen and a lawful permanent resident is that citizens may petition for their married sons and daughters—regardless of age— to come over through a successful Form I-130. Unfortunately, lawful permanent residents (green card holders) are limited to bringing over unmarried children (or sons and daughters). 

The Process

To kick off the process, you need to complete and submit Form I-130 with the USCIS in addition to filing fees. You will also need to submit various supporting documents, such as:

  • Evidence of your U.S. citizenship (the USCIS website has a list of documents that can be used to affirm this) OR
  • A copy of your Form I-551 or passport that shows temporary evidence that you are a lawful permanent resident (if you are not a U.S. citizen)

To bring over your child from another country, you must submit some document that shows proof of parentage. This could include a birth certificate or marriage certificate (if you’re an unmarried father). 

Unfortunately, you and your child could be waiting several years for approval after filing Form I-130. Children, sons, and daughters are in category F2B, which is reserved for second preference relatives. This stands in contrast to F2A relatives, which are unmarried children of lawful permanent residents. First preference relatives (F1) are unmarried children of citizens. 

RelisLaw Can Help

The most minute details in your immigration forms take on extreme importance when you are trying to bring over your children as a lawful permanent resident. There is no room for error with the USCIS. Because of this, it is imperative to consult with a quality immigration attorney so your case has the best chance of success. 

Our firm is able to help in several different languages, including (but not limited to) English, Spanish, Mandarin, and Portuguese. We know that family can’t wait, and we promise to give your case personalized and urgent attention. Connect with us through our website to receive a free 10-minute initial consultation with our team.

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RelisLaw PLLC

We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw PLLC will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.

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