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GC Holder filing for Children

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Can I apply for my children to come to the United States if I'm a green card holder? Hi, I'm Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States out of our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

All right, so in this scenario we're talking about a scenario where someone is a lawful permanent resident in the United States, they're not yet a US Citizen, and they have children from maybe a prior marriage or just children from a prior relationship back in their home country.

And the question is, can they sponsor their children to come to the United States? Now first of all, we need to make a distinction because children under the age of 21 are treated differently than children over the age of 21 for this analysis. So they are different visa categories, F2A and F2B for the adult children of green card holders and the minor children of green card holders.

But the good thing is that, for the category of minor children of green card holders is, if that visa category is current, you can apply to bring your children here. You can apply either way. But the point of this video is that with the visa bulletin providing updates that show that there are current visas available for the underage children of green card holders, you can apply for them right away.

You can apply for them right when you get your green card and you can even apply right when you get that initial conditional green card. So let's walk through a scenario. So we have Bruce. Bruce is from Ireland. Bruce is in the United States. He had a wife who passed away and he has two youngish children, who live with his mother back home in Dublin in Ireland. And so Bruce has married someone in the United States and he just received his conditional green card.

The question is, can he sponsor those children to come to the United States? Now of course, his US Citizen spouse could sponsor them and that's always one route to go. But Bruce, on his own, could apply for them, and if the visa numbers current, that means this case is going to be processed just as if Bruce were a US Citizen.

So that's one of the nice things with visa numbers being down is that, in certain categories, people can come faster. So there've been times during my career where the wait for underaged children of lawful permanent residents, where that delay has been two and a half years, three years.

So with those numbers being current, that means that you can file your I-130 and your case should get sent straight to the national visa center and then to the embassy just as if you, the sponsor, were a US Citizen.

So I hope this is making sense. It's a little bit tricky, but if you pull out the visa bulletin and it comes out every month, if you look at the visa bulletin, you're going to see that, that's how it works. And if your visa number's current then they're going to be processed like normal.

So in fact, if the children are in the United States, you might even be able to adjust their status to that of lawful permanent residence. So that takes a little bit of a different analysis, but for the most part, with visa numbers being current for the underaged children of lawful permanent residents, now's a good time to file for those kids.

And of course, if they're getting close to that age cutoff, you might want to file sooner rather than later so that they don't age out and go into the other category, which is the category for the adult children of green card holders. Those cases historically take years and years.

And the reason for all of this is because Congress has placed a cap on each of these types of visas and so there's only a certain number available, so that's the dealio. If you have questions, give us a call (314) 961-8200. You can email us at [email protected] Be sure to join us in our Facebook group, which is called Immigrant Home. And if you like this video, we ask that you please share it out on social, so that you get updates whenever we make videos, just like this one. Thanks a lot and keep on watching. See ya.


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