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June 28, 2010: No Derivatives for Immediate Relatives

No Derivatives for Immediate Relatives

The question of children accompanying their parent, while the parent is being sponsored by a United States citizen seems to remain unclear. Some say the children under the age of 18 are able to accompany their parent, but others disagree.

So here is my question: When a United States citizen child over 21 years of age sponsors his/her parents, can the parent’s unmarried children under the age of 18 or 21 accompany them?
— Anonymous

The answer to your question “When a United States citizen child over 21 years of age sponsors his/her parents, can the parent’s unmarried children under the age of 18 or 21 accompany them?” is no, the children cannot accompany their parents. This is because the category of an adult United States citizen child filing for a parent is known as the “immediate relative” category, and there are no derivative beneficiaries allowed in that category. It does not seem fair, and it is not logical, but an immigrating parent may not bring their minor child, even if that child is an infant.

Options for the child might include filing for a visitor visa or a student visa. Once the parent is granted permanent residency, he/she may petition for the child under the family based 2A category. At present that category is backlogged to January 1, 2008. This means that the child will not become eligible for permanent residency until visa numbers become available for that category (quite some time).

If you need a further explanation, please visit a qualified immigration lawyer for a consultation.

Michael Shane and Evan Shane, Immigration Lawyers

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