Family Coming Too

Your Child/Children

Your child/children can immigrate with you as long as a child is unmarried, under 21, and you list him or her on your Entry Form.

You MUST list ALL your children that are alive, unmarried, and under the age of 21, when you enter. This requirement pertains to male and to female Entrants. Failure to list all eligible children is grounds for disqualification.
It does not matter whether a child intends to immigrate with you or not.

This means listing if applicable:

  • your natural children
  • your step-children
  • your spouse’s children from a previous relationship or marriage
  • children you formally adopted

You must list a child/children even if:

  • you were never married to or are no longer married to the other parent
  • the child is no longer living with you or never resided with you

In case of pregnancy: do not list a child that has not been born yet.

If you had a child that you gave up for legal adoption, meaning you gave up all parental rights and responsibilities, you do not have to list this child.

Who is (not) Eligible

An unmarried child that is over 21 cannot immigrate with you based on your win.
A child that is married cannot immigrate with you even if he/she is still under 21.
A child that was married but is widowed, divorced, or had the marriage annulled, counts as unmarried.
A child that was married, had a child and after the birth had the marriage annulled/divorced or lost the spouse through death, counts as unmarried and is eligible. However the child born to him or her is not eligible for Derivative Status and cannot come to the U.S. with its parent on a Diversity Visa.

Age Out

The unmarried child must still be under 21 when the visa becomes available.
At 21 a child ‘ages out’. Aging Out means the loss of Derivative Status – immigration rights based on the rights of a parent. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protects some children from ‘aging out’ in certain circumstances.

Nota Bene. Even when you know that your child will age out and not get a visa, you must still enter him/her on your Entry Form if he/she is unmarried and under 21 on the day that you enter.

Child Just Born

An unmarried child/children must still be under 21 when the visa is issued.
At 21 a child ‘ages out’. Aging Out means the loss of Derivative Status – immigration rights based on the rights of a parent. The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) protects some children from ‘aging out’ in certain circumstances.

Child Categories

For immigration purposes your child must be either:

  • Born ‘in wedlock’ during your current marriage.
  • Born ‘out of wedlock’ during a current relationship.
  • Born ‘in wedlock’ during a previous marriage.
  • Born ‘out of wedlock’ during a previous relationship. The child must be legally recognized as yours according to the laws of your country.
  • A stepchild from your current or from a previous marriage.
  • Be legally adopted by you in accordance with the laws of your country.

The adoption must have taken place before the child turned 16 and he/she must have been living with you in legal custody for at least two years on the day you submit your Entry Form.
If you adopted siblings the adoption of the oldest child must have taken place before that child turned 18 years of age.

You can NOT adopt a child for immigration purposes.

Consent Needed

To bring a child from a previous marriage or relationship you must have the consent from the other parent. Unless the original Custody Agreement already allows you to immigrate with the child.
In most countries the father or the mother of a child has rights even when estranged from you and/or the child.

In case of any issues consult an immigration attorney and/or a family lawyer.

 

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