Sponsoring a Child

Sponsoring a Child to Legally Come to the United States

Seeking Assistance to Sponsoring a Non-US Citizen Child for Permanent Residence from an Immigration Lawyer located in North Carolina?

Sponsoring a non-US citizen child who is living in a different country for US permanent residency is a significant issue for many families. Bringing a child to the US will allow the child to become an integrated member of their existing family in the US. For many people, this is one of the few ways they can raise the quality of life for their children.

Sponsorship can be a daunting and difficult task if you are doing it on your own.  If you want to sponsor your child for US residency, it is recommended that you consult a family immigration attorney before starting the process. 

Our Raleigh-based immigration lawyers and paralegals at Bashyam Global LLP are experienced in successfully guiding our clients through the complex and complicated process of bringing their children to the US as legal permanent residents so they can be reunited with their family in the US.  We provide tailored advice and representation throughout the sponsorship process.  Our Bashyam Global legal team can provide a thorough screening of immigration history to ensure proper filing and walk you through the immigration process. We are dedicated to reuniting you and your beloved family member. Contact us at Bashyam Global LLP to schedule a consultation today.

Below is a brief description of the requirements and process to legally bring a child to the US.

sponsoring adopted child for us residency

Who Can Sponsor Their Child for Permanent Residency in the United States?

Family-based immigration is vital as it allows family members to sponsor relatives, such as children and spouses, so that they are able to permanently reside in the United States. There are several categories of family-based immigration that are categorized by a few different factors; the status of the petitioner, the relationship to the sponsor, the age of the relative, and the civil status of the relative being sponsored.

US citizens can petition:

  • their minor, unmarried children under the age of 21 as immediate relatives
  • their unmarried adult sons and daughters (F1 category) (which extends to include any minor children the US citizen’s son or daughter may have)
  • their married sons and daughters (F3 category) (which extends to include any spouse and minor children the US citizen’s son or daughter may have)

Permanent Residents can petition:

  • their minor, unmarried children under the age of 21 (F2A category)
  • their unmarried adult children (F2B category) (which extends to include any minor children the permanent resident’s son or daughter may have)

Note: If the son or daughter of a Permanent Resident marries while awaiting the process is completed, the petition is automatically canceled.

How quickly the child can immigrate to the United States greatly depends on their relationship to you, the visa bulletin, and their immigration history.

What is the Sponsorship Process and Timeline to Bring a Child to the US as a Permanent Resident

The most common path to permanent residency status involves two main steps: 

  1. Filing the I-130 petition with United States Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) or in some cases, directly with the Consulate where the child lives.
  2. Upon approval of the I-130 petition, the child must apply for an immigrant visa through the National Visa Center and the Consulate where the child lives.

mom and child holding passports and sponsoring a child to come to the us, child's birth certificate issued correctly

How is the Child’s Relationship with the Sponsor Determined?

To sponsor your child for permanent residency, you must first determine the child’s relationship to you. The I-130 Petition requires that the sponsor-parent provides evidence of their relationship to the child through legal documentation.

According to U.S. immigration laws, the term “child” encompasses biological children and stepchildren if the marriage to their parent occurred prior to their 18th birthday. Additionally, under specific circumstances, adopted children are also included in this definition.  International child adoption laws are complicated, and you should consult with one of Bashyam Global’s immigration attorneys to ensure that you and your child qualify for this benefit.

What is the Processing Time for Approval of the I-130 Petition?

Filing the I-130 Petition with evidence initiates the case with USCIS.  For children who are not immediate relatives, it establishes what is called a ‘Priority Date’ which can be found on the receipt notice that is issued a few weeks after the I-130 petition is filed. The receipt notice will also list the USCIS Service Center that is processing the case. Patience during this time is important.  Processing times are subject to change due to many variables, such as influx of petitions and staffing at USCIS. 

You should be aware that there is a numerical limitation on the number of children of US citizens and Permanent Residents that can immigrate to the United States each year in the F1, F2A, F2B, and F3 categories. If you miss the annual cap, you will have to wait until the following year for the opportunity to sponsor your child.

What Happens if My Petition is Denied?

You may have the right to appeal if your application is denied. The denial letter should state whether or not you can file an appeal and the time frame for doing so. It is essential to consult with an immigration attorney who can review your options and advise you on how to proceed.

At Bashyam Global LLP, our Raleigh immigration lawyers can help you understand your options and guide you through the appeals process. Contact us today to get started.

How do I Apply for a Visa?

Once USCIS has approved the visa petition, they will forward the case file to the National Visa Center. The NVC will send an e-mail and create a case number and invoice number that indicates it is time to begin the process of applying for an immigrant visa. The Priority Date is important in identifying if a visa is available per the family-based category that is being sought. The Visa Bulletin is located on the US Department of State’s Visa Bulletin website and summarizes the availability of immigrant numbers during each month for: “Final Action Dates” and “Dates for Filing Applications.” 

The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication issued by the U.S. Department of State that provides valuable information on the availability of immigrant visa numbers, indicating the priority dates for different categories of family-based and employment-based visa applicants. 

Knowing the Priority Date and regularly checking the Visa Bulletin will provide insight as to when a sponsored child should begin to assemble and submit required documentation to the NVC. The NVC will conduct a preliminary review of the submitted items and once they are satisfied, will deem the case documentarily qualified. The case will then be placed in queue to be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the US Consulate in the country where the child resides. 

What is the Interview at US Consulate?

Your child and possibly you, depending on their age, will need to attend an interview with a consular officer at the US Consulate where the child resides.  The interview is a process to assess the legitimacy of your relationship with your child and ensure their eligibility to permanently immigrate to the United States.  You will be asked several questions and the consular officer may request to review your supporting evidence.  Your attorney should properly prepare you prior to the interview so you can answer all questions appropriately and gather all necessary evidence to be thoroughly prepared.

mom and child holding hands and holding a small american flag in their hands

What is the Time Period for Visa Issuance?

It can take between a few weeks to two months after the interview before the immigrant visa is issued.  However, the time period may take longer due to unforeseen circumstances.

When Can My Child Enter the US?

Once your child has obtained their immigrant visa, they have up to six months from the date of issuance or until the validity date on their I-551 stamp to enter the United States, whichever date comes first. Upon entry, the child is considered a permanent resident and the I-551 stamp will be valid for up to a year from the date of entry. 

Once the immigrant visa is issued, the child will need to pay the USCIS immigrant visa fee so that USCIS will begin production of the permanent resident card. Upon entry to the United States, the child is considered a lawful permanent resident or LPR. This means your child can attend school and travel within the US.

What Are the Benefits of Being a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR)?

Lawful permanent residence is synonymous with being a green card holder, representing the legal status of an individual to permanently reside and work in the United States.

Having a green card provides many benefits. Green card holders may accept an offer of employment without special restrictions, own property, receive financial assistance at public colleges and universities, and join the Armed Forces. They also may apply to become US citizens once they meet the eligibility requirements.

How does my Child obtain US Citizenship?

After obtaining a green card, your child may eventually become eligible for US citizenship.

You can learn more about family-based immigration law and child sponsorship by visiting the US Department of State website.

father sponsoring his child for us citizenship

Seek Professional Help and Advice from Experienced Raleigh-based Immigration Lawyers

Sponsoring your child for residency in North Carolina is a complex process that can be difficult to navigate. It is essential to seek professional help and advice from skilled attorneys who can assist you through each step of the process.

At Bashyam Global LLP, we provide tailored advice on family-based immigration and child sponsorship. Our team has extensive knowledge and experience in this area. We are here to provide you with the necessary guidance and support so that your child’s journey toward permanent residency is as seamless and successful as possible. 

Contact us online or call us at 919-833-0840 to schedule your consultation.

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