What happens if I don’t include a child on an I130 Petition?
Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in Saint Louis, Missouri. I did a YouTube live last week and I asked people to send in topics. And one of our viewers, Dawn, was kind enough to post this question. I’m going to turn it into a video today. And then, we’ll let Dawn know that we shot this video.
And her question was how serious is it to not mention a child on an original I130? We want to petition for that child later, but paternity is uncertain.
So when a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident files an application for someone overseas, or even for someone here, sometimes they neglect to include a child. Now, I have seen many, many weird scenarios related to this, and I’ve seen many weird actions taken by petitioners. I’ve seen people go all the way through the citizenship process and never list the child on their application. And then later on, after they get their citizenship, then they apply for this mystery spouse or mystery child that you’ve never heard of before.
This is very dangerous and it can cause a lot of problems. What do I mean by that? Well, USCIS could take the position that you were withholding material facts when you didn’t mention that you had children back home. For instance, they want to make sure that you’re supporting that child. So, they’re going to scratch their heads and say, “Why is Abdullah finally listing a child on his new I130, when he didn’t put it on his N400, he didn’t put it on his 485, and he’s never listed the child ever before? Is this really even his child?” And it’s interesting that Dawn brings up the issue of paternity and maybe a later discovered child.
Now, in that rare scenario, I think you could maybe make an argument, but in most situations, if you didn’t list the child, that’s going to be very hard to get that case approved. And so, that’s one problem. The other problem is they might come back after you and say, “Why did you lie to us? Why didn’t you list this child?” And unless you have a damn good reason, I could see a scenario where people have their green cards under attack or their citizenship under attack for not having listed these children before.
So, Dawn, an answer to your question, it is a pretty serious issue. I think there has to be serious consideration of never applying for those children, because depending on what was disclosed, you might have a real problem with a misrepresentation. And then, USCIS sends out these notices that say, “Hey, we’re thinking about revoking your citizenship because you left out a material fact, which then, cut off a line of inquiry by the officer.”
So it’s a real problem. I would not file a new I130 for a newly found child or a missing child without talking to a lawyer first. You have to explore all the options. You’re probably going to want to do a Freedom of Information Act request for the US citizen or green card holder in the petitioners file to see how many times he or she did not mention this mystery child. That’s a real problem.
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