US citizen parents may apply for green cards for unmarried sons and daughters. This is true whether their son or daughter has never married or if they are divorced or widowed. Their grandchildren may also immigrate at the same time as their parent as long as they are under the age of 21 and unmarried.
If your son or daughter is 21 years of age or older when you sponsor them, the process can be lengthy because immigration laws put a limit on the number of persons that can immigrate under the 1st preference category (unmarried adult sons/daughters of US citizens). Only 23,400 persons are able to immigrate to the US annually under this category. Considering that there are over 280,000 people already in line, the wait can be up to 7 or 8 years.
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If you were born in the Philippines or Mexico, the per-country quotas increase the wait to over 11 years and 20 years, respectively.
Procedure for Sponsoring Green Cards for Unmarried Sons and Daughters
To sponsor your unmarried son/daughter for permanent residence, begin by submitting the following to USCIS:
- Form I-130 Visa Petition
- Proof of your US citizenship
- Evidence of parental relationship
Please note that if your name or the name of your son or daughter has changed since birth, additional paperwork must be submitted. Instructions for proving your relationship can be found on Form I-130.
After receiving the forms, documents and filing fees, the USCIS will review your petition. When the petition is approved and the priority date is reached, your unmarried son or daughter and their children will be interviewed, and if approved, will become lawful permanent residents of the US.
Green Cards for Unmarried Sons and Daughters of US Citizens Links
- Green Cards for Immediate Relatives of US Citizens (USCIS)
- Green Cards through Family of US Citizen (USCIS)
- How do I Help my Relative become a Permanent Resident (USCIS)
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