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Green Card for Children

Child Immigration Attorney in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Do you wish you could be with your children in the United States? If you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder) or an American citizen, you can apply for your foreign-born child to immigrate to the United States and obtain their own Green Card. The marital status and age of your children are the most crucial factors in this application process. The good news is that a knowledgeable lawyer can assist you in compiling your Child Green Card application papers.

Our Milwaukee green card lawyer can help you if you’re considering filing for a green card for your children. To schedule a consultation with one of our Wisconsin child immigration lawyers, contact Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC immediately.

Why Do I Need a Child Immigration Attorney in Wisconsin?

One of the most time-consuming and complicated immigration processes in the United States is obtaining a green card for your children. This process might take months or even years, but getting a green card for your children may allow you to spend more time with them or perhaps reunite with them.

Working with a reputable Wisconsin child immigration attorney can assist you in accomplishing this and putting a stop to your desire to be with your children. A Milwaukee child immigration lawyer can help you with everything from filing the correct paperwork with the U.S. Customs and Immigration Service to ensuring that your petition is processed properly.

What is a Green Card for Children?

Green Card for Children A green card for children allows a child of a United States citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (Green card holder) living in another country to come and live in the United States legally.

If you’re a U.S. citizen with a child residing outside the country who doesn’t have a green card or isn’t an American citizen, they may be eligible for a Green Card if they’re under 21 and unmarried.

On the other hand, when adopting a child from outside the United States, you can apply for a Green Card for Children. Visas are obtained from the U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country. Because adopted children are commonly brought to the United States, they must apply for an immigrant visa.

Who are Eligible for a Children's Green Card?

As previously stated, a Child Green Card is an immigrant visa that allows a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident (Green Card holder) to bring their children to the U.S. to pursue immigrant status under US immigration law. The following are the eligibility requirements; determine whether your children meet any of them:

  • Children of U.S. citizens, whether married or not, of any age

If you are a United States citizen, you may petition for any unmarried children (under 21), unmarried sons and daughters (age 21 or above) and their children, and married sons and daughters (any age) and their spouses and children.

  • Children under the age of 21 of U.S. Permanent Residents, married or unmarried

If you are a Permanent Resident, often known as a Green Card holder, you may file for your unmarried children (under 21 years old) as well as any of your child’s sons or daughters. You may also petition for unmarried children above the age of 21, often known as adult children, and their children. However, you will not be able to petition for your married children to become permanent residents.

When Applying for a Green Card, Who Counts as a Child?

If specific circumstances are met, not only natural-born children, but also adopted and stepchildren, can immigrate through their parents. Immigration policy in the United States emphasizes keeping families together, particularly parents and children. Because a child frequently qualifies for an immigrant visa or permanent resident status in the United States through his or her parents, it’s necessary to know who the law considers a “child” for visa reasons.

Age Limits


An individual must (in most situations) be under the age of 21 to be designated a “child” for visa reasons. Adult children are sometimes eligible for visas, however they don’t have the same favorable status as “children” until they reach the age of 21.

Since the visa procedure can be lengthy, it is not unusual for somebody who qualified as a “child” at the start of the process to turn 21 before receiving a U.S. immigrant visa. Because the person must be under 21 years old at the moment the green card is accepted, this “aging out” can cause issues.

The Child Status Protection Act, on the other hand, aids children in dealing with the issue of “aging out.” It allows anyone over 21 to apply for a visa as if they’re still “children.”

Married people are no longer considered “Children”


To be petitioned by a parent in the category for children, a “child” must be unmarried in all situations. Married children of United States citizens may be eligible for a green card, but they don’t get the same privileged status as “children,” and they will most certainly face a lengthy wait. As a result, it is critical for children who are awaiting a U.S. green card and considering marriage to understand the immigration implications before marrying.

Relationship of “Child and Parent or Parents” is legally required


Children are defined more broadly in U.S. immigration law than just biological children born to married parents, so read the details carefully.

  • A genetic child born in wedlock

When a possible green card applicant’s mother was married to his or her father at the time of birth, the parent-child relationship is the least complicated. Until the person reaches the age of 21 or marries, he or she is the “child” of both the mother and the father. Even if the mother and the father separate after the child is born, this is true.

  • A genetic child born out of wedlock

The person is automatically a “child” of the natural mother if the natural father and natural mother were not married at the time of birth, as well as being a “child” of the father if the father has or had a legitimate parent-child relationship with that person.

  • Stepchildren

A “stepchild,” or whose natural parent later married someone else, is only the new spouse’s “child” if the stepchild was under the age of 18 at the time of the new marriage.

A person is still the “child” of the natural parent if the new marriage ends in divorce, separation, or death, but not the “child” of the stepparent unless they have a continuing relationship.

  • A child born using ART

A child born by Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a non-genetic gestational mother who is recognized as the child’s legal parent under the legislation of the relevant jurisdiction at the time of birth.

  • An adopted child

If a person is adopted when under the age of 16 and has lived with the adopting parent/s for at least two years, he or she is considered a “child.” Keep in mind that if the child has been mistreated or subjected to serious cruelty by the adopting U.S. parent or a family member of the adopting parent living in the same U.S. household, there is no two-year minimum.

In cases where adopting parent/s have also adopted the person’s natural sibling, the age limit for an adopted “child” in the two categories above is lifted to 18 to assist keep adoptable brothers and sisters together.

Under certain circumstances, a person adopted in a foreign country which is a party to the “Hague Convention” on adoption, or is emigrating from such a country to be adopted in the United States, can become an adopted “child” if he or she is under the age of 16 when the adopting parent/s file a green card petition for him or her as an “immediate relative.”

For US immigration reasons, the person is a “child” of the adopting parent/s and no longer a “child” of any natural parent.

Required Documents

If your child is already in the United States

If you are a U.S. citizen seeking for an immigrant visa for your unmarried child under the age of 21, your child must also file a Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the same time as you file the Form I-130, Alien Relative Petition.

When you’re a U.S. citizen filing for an immigrant visa for your married children above the age of 21, you should complete the Form I-130 petition. Your children should file Form I-845 if an immigrant visa number is available.

When you’re a lawful permanent resident petitioner for your children, you should start by filing a Form I-130. Your children should complete Form I-485, Adjustment of Status, if an immigrant visa number is available.

After your Priority Date has arrived, you will file your Green Card application, which will include Forms I-485, I-864, and I-944, as well as any additional optional forms that may apply to your situation.

If your child has not yet arrived in the U.S.

If your child lives outside of the United States, the first step is to complete Form I-130. The petition will be sent to the consulate for processing, and a visa will be provided after it is approved.

The “Priority Date,” which is decided by the preference category you select in the next step, determines how long it takes. When this date approaches, you should submit your Green Card application. If you are applying from within the United States, you will use Form I-845, and if you are applying from outside the United States, you will use Form DS-260.

Can I Appeal When My Petition Was Denied?

If your visa petition is denied, the rejection letter will tell you how to appeal and when you must file your appeal. After your appeal form and fee have been processed, your appeal may be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

Child Status Protection Act (CSPA)

A child who applies for lawful permanent residence status but reaches 21 before gaining approval for a Green Card is no longer considered a minor for immigration purposes.

This is known as “aging out,” and it usually means that these applicants will have to file a new petition or application, would have to wait longer for a Green Card, or will no longer be eligible.

The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) was enacted in response to the enormous number of applicants who were aging out as a result of lengthy visa processing times. Even after reaching the age of 21, if a person fits the CSPA’s criteria, they may be classified as a minor.

CSPA does not change the definition of a child. Instead, the CSPA provides a method for calculating an individual’s age in order to determine whether they are a child for immigration purposes. The age calculated is the child’s “CSPA age,” which allows certain people to be classified as minors until they turn 21 years old. CSPA, however, does not remove the need for you to be unmarried to be considered a child.

CSPA's Immediate Relative Petitions strategy

To prevent long waits, U.S. citizens who want to bring their children to the United States to live permanently should file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, before the child marries and turns 21. These children don’t have to wait for a green card to become available because of this.

Even if your child is under the age of 21 when you file Form I-130, if he or she marries before earning a green card, your petition will no longer be deemed an “immediate relative” petition. Unfortunately, under one of the “preference” categories of US immigration, your child’s marriage will result in a substantially longer wait for a green card.

If Permanent Residents naturalize, their children’s petitions can be converted to Immediate Relative petitions.

What if you’re a lawful permanent resident in the United States whose child is in abroad? Minor children of green card holders are unfortunately not considered “immediate relatives” under the CSPA. If they were not listed as derivatives when you applied for permanent residence, they might encounter difficulties in acquiring green cards.

Although the CSPA provides some security, it would be much better if you could switch your immigrant visa petition to “immediate relative” status before your Form I-130 is accepted, as long as your child is under the age of 21 when you receive your citizenship certificate. Your child’s age will “freeze” on the day you naturalize in this case.

Call our Child Immigration Attorney in Milwaukee Now!

We know how important it is for families to spend time together. That is why we have focused our practice on immigration law and have helped many clients sponsor family members to immigrate to the United States throughout the years.

Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC help people, families, and businesses with their immigration and visa issues in the United States and overseas. We provide current visa and immigration legal advice to our clients and take pleasure in our focused personal service and responsiveness to their needs.

Make an appointment with a trusted immigration lawyer at Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC right now to get the legal help you need, including Bankruptcy or Physical Injury.

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