Those who live in the United States as immigrants often want to create similar opportunities for their families. Helping families reunite can benefit those already living in the United States and provide a point of entry for other immigrants.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees multiple immigration programs that specifically focus on family-based immigration. There are visas and green cards for fiancés and spouses of those in the United States. What options exist for children?
Parents’ visas can benefit their children
Those who travel to the United States with a visa can often bring their minor children with them, as unmarried children under the age of 21 can usually qualify for a subordinate visa related to their parent’s visa. Of course, some people travel to the United States without their children. There are immigration programs that can help parents living in the United States reconnect with their children still living in other countries.
Those living in the United States lawfully either as permanent residents with a green card or as citizens may be able to help their children move to the United States using the family preference visa program. How does this program work?
Permanent residents can help their unmarried children
When someone has a green card, they have certain rights as a permanent resident of the United States. Helping their children qualify for a family preference visa and possibly a future green card of their own is one such privilege. The specialized preference categories for the family preference visa program include the children of lawful permanent residents. Unmarried children under the age of 21 have the highest priority, although older unmarried children can also be eligible.
There are more options for naturalized citizens
Once someone takes the step to become a naturalized citizen, they will have more immigration options to offer their loved ones. If someone has a child that has already married, their only chance of securing a family preference visa for that child requires them to have their citizenship, as there are family preference visas available for the married children of United States citizens.
In some families, the desire to bring children to the United States could be one of the reasons that a parent chooses to adjust their status either by getting a green card or completing the naturalization process to become a citizen. Learning more about family-based immigration with the assistance of an experienced legal professional can help those who are longing to reconnect with loved ones living abroad.