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Immigration matters regarding children of green card holders

Here in the U.S., there are avenues through which a green card holder can pursue a green card for certain family members. This includes their children (with certain restrictions, one of which we will discuss below).

Now, there are various challenges and complex issues that can arise in relation to efforts by a permanent resident here in the U.S. to get a green card for their child. So, when undertaking such efforts, a green card holder may want to turn to a skilled immigration lawyer for help, guidance and support.

One challenging thing that can come up for a green card holder when it comes to family immigration issues regarding their child are delays. There are annual limits here in the U.S. when it comes to how many relatives of green card holders can immigrate to the U.S. through the family immigration route. So, a green card holder could encounter waiting periods in connection to efforts to secure permanent resident status for their child.

Such waiting periods could be especially long if their child is 21 or over. While there is no age cutoff for a child of a green card holder being potentially eligible for a green card, being 21 or older would bump the child into a slightly different immigration category. Shifting to this different category could lead to longer delays when it comes to getting a green card.

When a green card holder encounters delays in relation to their pursuit of a green card for their child, skilled lawyers can give them guidance on avoiding missteps that could result in the delay going longer than it has to.

Now, one of the big restrictions when it comes to child immigration routes for a green card holder is that they cannot seek out a family green card for their child if their child is married. Under U.S. law, married children of green card holders do not fall into any of the eligibility categories for such green cards. Attorneys can advise permanent residents who desire for their married children to have a green card on what alternate routes for a green card, such as the employment-based green card programs, their children might be able to pursue.

Source: U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, "Green Card for a Family Member of a Permanent Resident," Feb. 14, 2017

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