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Who can help their children immigrate to the United States?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2024 | Family-based Immigration

Parents take on (at minimum) nearly two decades of legal and financial responsibility when they have children. Becoming a parent is a lifetime commitment, with most parents doing everything in their power to offer their children better opportunities than they had.

For some parents, entering the United States as an immigrant is a way to improve their personal and economic circumstances. They may do so with the goal of helping their children also legally live in the United States.

When is it possible for a parent to help their child legally immigrate?

When they secure a visa

If someone has young children, those children can benefit from an employment visa. The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers subordinate visas for spouses and children when a visa applicant wants to travel to and live in the United States for a job. People who qualify for a variety of different employment visas can submit applications for their children as well. Typically, visas for children are only available for those who are still unmarried and who are not yet 21 years of age.

When they become permanent residents

Someone who studies or works in the United States might eventually qualify for a green card. They become a lawful permanent resident who can potentially spend the rest of their life in the United States. Someone with a green card could potentially help their children immigrate as well. The family preference visa program has options for unmarried minor children of permanent residents. It is also sometimes possible for unmarried children over the age of 21 to qualify for a family preference visa if their parent secures a green card.

When a parent is or becomes a citizen

Perhaps a United States citizen had a romance while living abroad. Maybe someone born in another country naturalizes to become a citizen. In either scenario, that citizen has more options for helping their children immigrate. Citizens can sponsor minor and unmarried children for entry into the United States and green cards. Citizens may have the option of helping their married children secure green cards.

Parents in a variety of different circumstances may be able to help their children enjoy a better future through family-based immigration. Learning more about immigration opportunities by seeking legal guidance may benefit those who still have loved ones living in other countries.