Bringing Stepchildren who Live Abroad to the US
When people migrate to the US, they often leave their family in their homeland. Immigrants try to find a new direction and decide to start a new life and sometimes they get married again. In many cases, these parents would like to bring their children from abroad to the US.
Requirements to Bring your Stepchildren to the US
It is important to clarify that we refer to “stepchildren” as the biological children of the foreign spouse who is married to an American Citizen. In that scenario, you can make a request for your stepchildren.
In order to bring your stepchildren to the US, it is a requirement to present a legal and valid marriage certificate, which can be verified to the US government. It is worth noting that federal immigration laws recognize the same rights to marriages formed by people of the same sex.
Options to Request Immigration of Stepchildren
There are two scenarios where you can make a request for your stepchildren. Both of them are handled differently and have different regulations. These are specific rules according to the age and marital status of the stepchildren.
When the stepchildren are under 21 and are not married.
When the stepchildren are over 21 years old and/or married.
What is the Process for Stepchildren Under 21 who are Single?
They are considered as immediate relatives of an American citizen and can obtain the Green Card. In this case, after filing the application, the only thing you need to do is to wait for the petition to be approved by the US government, this may take a couple of months.
The process begins by sending Form I-130 to the Immigration and Citizenship Service, USCIS. If the request is for more than one stepchild, you must complete the form for each of them. If they are abroad, the USCIS must first approve the application, process the visa at the consular office and then, the stepchildren will be able to travel to the United States with an immigrant visa and will become permanent residents at the time of entering the country.
If the stepchildren are already in the United States, they may be able to adjust their status. If any of them entered the country illegally, adjusting the status won’t be possible.
What is the Process for Stepchildren who are Married and/or are Over 21 Years Old?
In this case, if you are an American citizen, you can still request a Green Card for your stepchildren, however, you must wait until an immigrant visa is available for them. This process takes longer and it might require more documentation to get it approved by the USCIS since they’re not considered children anymore and there are different steps to file their application.
Do you need help bringing your stepchildren from abroad? If you have any questions about an immigration issue or relating to a case you may have currently in Progress, then please don’t hesitate to contact us for a FREE Consultation with one of our expert immigration attorneys. Alternatively, simply call Motion Law today at: (202) 918-1799.