Many people who lawfully enter the United States do so through as a result of their family relationships. Family-based immigration allows people to support loved ones including spouses, fiancés and parents who would like to live in the United States.
There are many different programs that help people reconnect with loved ones still living abroad. The family preference visa program is one of the best-known and most effective means of helping loved ones enter the country and potentially obtain a green card of their own. The list of relatives potentially eligible for family preference visas includes certain children of United States citizens or permanent residents. Which children may qualify for these special visas?
Children of permanent residents
When someone has a green card, they can legally stay in the United States for the rest of their life unless they do something that warrants their removal. They are also in a strong position to help their family members move to the United States. The second preference category for the family preference visa program is specifically for the children of permanent residents. Unmarried children under the age of 21 have the highest preference under this program, meaning they have the best chances of obtaining a visa. However, there is a secondary, slightly lower preference category for unmarried children of permanent residents who are over the age of 21.
Children of citizens
Both naturalized and natural-born citizens of the United States tend to have enhanced options for supporting the immigration of their family members. The unmarried children of citizens can potentially qualify for a family preference visa. They actually fall into the top category, meaning their applications will have the best chance of approval. Citizens are also the only individuals who can help their married children obtain visas. The third preference category is specifically for the married children of United States citizens. While they may receive lower preference than unmarried children, they still have a chance of lawfully entering the country and becoming permanent residents themselves.
Those who have children living in other countries are often eager to extend them the best opportunities in life. Learning more about different family-based immigration programs can help those with family members living in other countries consider the best options for reuniting with them and helping them to thrive in the U.S.