Can my U.S. citizen spouse sponsor my kids?
We opened up our office in Washington, D.C. back in March of 2021, and we took over a bunch of cases from a lawyer who went to work for the government when we did that.
One of the clients had hired the old firm and then us, to handle her green card application.
So she had come to the United States on a visit visa from West Africa and had left actually her children back home with her parents.
Her parents were taking care of her children, their grandchildren. She came to the United States and was here, and she actually married a U.S. citizen and she hired the prior firm and then us to help her get her green card.
They're so happy with us helping after we took over the case and getting her, her green card that she wanted to sponsor and bring her four children to the United States. Now here's the interesting thing. One of the children was over the age of 21, one child was 20, one child was 19, and one child is 13. So obviously, she wants all four of them to come, but they're all going to be on different timeframes because of their ages. In other words, the U.S. Immigration Laws consider the unmarried child of a green card holder or of a U.S. citizen to be in a different category than if they're under 21. So we are swinging into action and preparing these I-130s as quickly as possible. But at the end of the day, certainly, the eldest one has aged out already and they'll be considered an adult, and they'll be in a different visa category than the children under 21.
And then the ones that are real close to 21, they might age out themselves, that involves a complicated mathematical formula called, the Child Status Protection Act, which allows you to sort of free someone's age, perhaps under the age of 21, if the math works out correctly. And one of the things that I noticed and that I talked to the clients about was I asked them, well, you're married to a U.S. citizen, why didn't you have your U.S. citizen sponsor their step-children, your children, his step-children beforehand. Why did you wait until after you got your green card? And they thought that they needed to do that. They'd never expressed an interest in bringing those children to the United States. And so they thought they had to wait until the mom actually got her green card. But what we're going to do is have the U.S. citizen stepfather sponsor the children.
And so if they had started that, three years earlier, the older kids who were under 21 might not have aged out. So it's sort of a tricky situation. But the point of this video is to let you know that once you're married, if that marriage is valid, you can go ahead and apply for the children. And if they're getting close to turning 21, you might want to do that for sure, so that you get the preferential category where the children might come a whole lot faster. So don't forget that the U.S. citizen has a role here, even though they are sponsoring their spouse for a green card, they can also sponsor their spouse's children to come. And it's probably a good idea to start on that earlier, rather than later, especially if the children are close to 21. That's why I made the video.
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