To promote family unity, our immigration laws permit United States Citizens to apply for permanent residency ("Green card") for certain immediate relatives to come and live in the US permanently, or if already in the United States, to adjust status to that of a permanent resident (certain conditions must be met). Permanent Residency application for the following immediate relatives:
• Marriage to US Citizen (Must be Valid marriage).
• Unmarried Children Under the Age of 21. (See below for "Aged Out" child).
• Parents of US Citizen. (US Citizen child Petitioner must be over 21).
• Adjustment of Status of Immediate Relatives visiting or Living in the US. (Certain
conditions must be met)
The United States immigration laws gives priority to immediate relatives of US Citizen. They do not have to wait in line for a visa number to become available, and the law permits an unlimited number of visas for immediate relatives of United States citizens.
WHAT HAPPENS IF A CHILD TURNS 21 ("AGED OUT") WHILE THE PETITION IS PENDING?
The Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) amended the Immigration Nationality Act (INA), and took effect in August 2002, by permiting a child to retain classification as a “child,” even if he or she has reached the age of 21.
If the petition (Form I-130) for the child was filed by a U.S. citizen parent for his or her child, the child's age “freezes” on the date of filing. If the petition was filed by a permanent resident ("Greencard" holder) parent and the parent naturalizes before the child turns 21, the child's age “freezes” on the date of naturlization.
Must be the beneficiary of a pending or approved visa petition on or after August 6, 2002.
The beneficiary must not have had a final decision on an application for adjustment of status or an immigrant visa before August 6, 2002.
The child must “seek to acquire” permanent residence within 1 year of a visa becoming available. USCIS interprets “seek to acquire” as having a Form I-824, Application for Action on an Approved Application or Petition, filed on the child’s behalf or the filing of a Form I- 485 Application to Adjust Permanent Status), or submit Form DS-230, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration from the Department of State.
Child MarriedWhile Petitioner is Pending
If an immediate relative child under age 21 gets married, he or she will no longer be classified as an “immediate relative” and will become a “third preference” (F3) category married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen and a visa would no longer be immediately available. You must notify the USCIS of any change in the child's marrital status after Form I-130 has been filed.
WHAT IF YOUR IMMEDIATE RELATIVE IS IN THE UNITES STATES?
Unless certain disqualifications exits (for example, illegal border crossing), the I-130 along with the I-485 (adjustment of status) must be filed in the United States.
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