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Other close family members of U.S. citizen: Unmarried Child

 The primary difference between eligibility for a child beneficiary in this category and a child beneficiary of an “immediate relative of a U.S. citizen” is that a child in this category is older than 21. Therefore, to be eligible as a “child” in this category, the foreign national must be an unmarried child of a U.S. citizen over the age of 21.  Adopted children can qualify provided the adoption is finalized prior to the child’s 16th birthday, the parents have legal custody of the child for at least two years, and the child beneficiary lives with his or her parents for at least two years.  Similarly, a stepchild is eligible under this category provided the parents married before the child turned 18 years old.
Following-to-Join Benefits
This section is for beneficiaries who became permanent residents through a preference classification.If you were married and/or had children who did not obtain permanent residence at the same time you did, they may be eligible for follow-to-join benefits. This means that you do not have to submit a separate Form I-130 for your spouse and/or children. In addition, your spouse and/or children will not have to wait any extra time for a visa number to become available. In this case, you may simply notify a U.S. consulate that you are a permanent resident so that your spouse and/or children can apply for an immigrant visa.Your spouse and/or children may be eligible for following-to-join benefits if: 

  • The relationship existed at the time you became a permanent resident and still exists, AND 
  • You received an immigrant visa or adjusted status in a preference category. 
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