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Can you help your children get green cards?

On Behalf of | Aug 24, 2022 | Immigration Law

When you choose to pursue immigration opportunities, personal sacrifices are sometimes necessary. Parents frequently have to make difficult choices when they have a job opportunity that might take them to another country.

Although many visas make a worker eligible to travel with family members, they may make the choice to have their family stay home. Applying for family visas and traveling as a family unit can be both expensive and disruptive for the children in the family. Workers may choose to travel alone and send support home for their loved ones living abroad.

Undocumented workers aren’t as lucky to have the final say in the matter. Their families may live elsewhere for safety’s sake and practicality. Those that later secure green cards or citizenship will likely want to reconnect with their family members. If you still have children living in another country, can you help them get green cards so that they can come to the United States to live as permanent residents?

Your immigration status affects their options

If you want to offer your children immigration opportunities, you typically need to be a permanent resident or citizen yourself. Your current immigration status has a major influence on the options available for helping your children enter the country.

If you are a permanent resident with a green card, you can leverage your circumstances to obtain a green card for your children as well. If you want to help one of your kids travel to the United States legally, they will usually need to be under the age of 21 and unmarried. Those who have become United States citizens have access to higher-priority consideration and more options.

Just like a permanent resident, a citizen can potentially obtain a green card for unmarried children under the age of 21. There are also lower-priority family preference visas available for children over the age of 21 and married children of citizens.

Your naturalization can help your children

If your children would not qualify for green cards because of their age or marital status, committing to the naturalization process and becoming a citizen might be the easiest way for you to reconnect with your child. Learning more about different family immigration options can help you select the best programs given your family circumstances.