Jean Danhong Chen On What To Know About U.S. Immigration Law When Sponsoring Children
You’ve laid down roots in the U.S. and you are now in a financial situation to bring your children to the country. But how do you do that? There are a number of requirements to meet, and preparing for them in advance will help the process go more smoothly.
Jean Danhong Chen, an expert in immigration law based in San Jose, CA knows about all of the hurdles that parents face when sponsoring a child, and provides this information to make the process as streamlined as possible.
Age and Status of Eligible Children
These two factors will have a bearing on how successfully the immigration process will work. First of all, U.S immigration law considers a “child” to be anyone who is not married and under 21 years old. If they don’t meet these criteria, then the definition changes to son and daughter, which is another matter.
U.S. immigration is whether the child has a genetic connection to you, whether or not you were married at the time of birth. For the purposes of sponsorship, the child can also be a stepchild that’s under 18 at the time you became a step-parent. It may also be a child who you adopted before they turned 16.
This differs for biological mothers and fathers, however. The mother still qualifies if they were not married to the partner when the child was born. A birth certificate is usually sufficient. However, a father in the same circumstances will have to provide proof that they are financially supporting the child and has legal custody. The birth certificate provided must have the name of not only the father, but the mother as well.
DNA testing may be required to prove a genetic link in any case, if there’s not enough alternate evidence to support the claim. The sponsor is responsible for paying any fees attached to this step, and there are no guarantees it will make the application process successful.
Requirements For The Sponsoring Adult
If the child you’re looking to sponsor meets the criteria, then the next step is ensuring you meet certain criteria as well. First of all, you need to be in the U.S. legally, either as a citizen or by holding a green card.
U.S. citizens can sponsor unmarried children under 21 or sons/daughters over 21. If the son or daughter is married, they can be any age. Meanwhile, those with a green card/permanent resident status can sponsor unmarried children under 21, or sons/daughters 21 or older.
There are also documents that need to be completed for consideration. The applications may vary depending on the situation, but in case a Form I-130 (known as a Petition for Alien Relative) will be required under immigration law, notes Jean Danhong Chen. It’s important to remember that the approval of this document does not grant the child any legal status in the U.S. However, this step opens the door for the unmarried child to begin the relative-petitioned immigration visa application process.
No matter which method you use to sponsor your children, the process can be lengthy as there are a limited number of visas available each year. Each of the four types of family-based immigration have just over 200,000 visas available every year. However, the process is a bit easier for those who have achieved citizenship through naturalization. One of the criteria is that you’ve lived in the U.S. for 5 continuous years or have served in the U.S. military.
Whether you’re planning to bring children into San Jose, CA or New York, NY, the same process must be followed. Jean Danhong Chen notes that U.S. immigration law can change from time to time when it comes to sponsoring children, and that you should do your homework before spending any resources to be aware of what the current requirements are at the time.