Family Based Immigration for Children of U.S. Citizens
Since the children of United States citizens are considered immediate relatives, they qualify for the category within family based immigration that is given special priorities. However, the child of the U.S. citizen must both be unmarried and under the age of 21 to qualify.
So long as the stepchild/stepparent relationship was legally established before the child’s 18th birthday, stepchildren of U.S. citizens will qualify as immediate relatives.
Adopted Children (Non-Hague Adoption):
Should a U.S. citizen adopt a child, that child will qualify as an immediate relative so long as the following two conditions are met:
1. The child was less than 16 years old at the time of adoption (18 years old when adopted together with another sibling younger than 16 years old).
2. The child is in both legal and physical custody of the adopted parents for at least two years.
Children of Immigrants:
When an individual looking to acquire lawful permanent resident (LPR) status has children, the children may immigrate as derivative beneficiaries. The parent, or the “lead beneficiary” must qualify for a specific visa that allows derivative beneficiaries. If, however, the immigrant parent is moving to the U.S. because of their relationship with an immediate relative, any derivative children involved must file a separate visa petition — therefore establishing their own relationship with the relative petitioning.
For a typical case filed in the United States at the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) (please read this disclaimer), our Austin immigration lawyers at William Jang, PLLC charge both for attorney’s fees and the filing fee that is currently charged by USCIS:
- $2,000 attorney’s fees (+$2,000.00 for cases involving adopted children)
- $535 USCIS filing fee for the main petition
- $1,225 USCIS filing fee for adjustment of status