I have a conditional 2-year green card. Can I apply for my children to immigrate to the U.S.?

Question: I obtained a 2-year conditional green card through marriage to a U.S. citizen. My son is in the U.S. on a tourist visa. May I apply for a green card for my son?

Answer: Yes. A person with a conditional, two-year green card has the same rights as someone with a 10-year green card, including the ability to apply for a green card on behalf of their children. 

If the child’s petition is approved while the parent is still a conditional green card holder, the child will receive a two-year conditional green (the card will expire two years after the child’s application is approved). If the child’s petition is approved after the parent has already obtained a 10-year card, the child will also receive a 10-year card.

For immigration purposes, a “child” includes:

  • A genetic child,
  • A stepchild, if you married the child’s parent before the child turned 18, and
  • An adopted child. 

A conditional green card holder can apply for unmarried children of any age. If the child is under 21 at the time of the application, there is currently no visa backlog. If the child is over 21 at the time of the application, the child is subject to a visa backlog that currently requires a 6-year wait time.

If the child is outside the U.S., you will need to file Form I-130. If the child is in the U.S. (and entered the U.S. legally and is currently in legal immigration status), you need to file Form I-130 and I-485 and all required supporting documents. You have to demonstrate your immigration status, your child’s immigration status, and your relationship to your child. You will also need to prove that your income is sufficient to support your child. 

In most cases of blood-related children, all you need to provide is a copy of the child’s birth certificate listing you as the parent. If you are the child’s father, you will also need to provide a copy of your marriage certificate showing that you were married to the child’s mother at the time the child was born. 

If you are a father to a child born out of wedlock, you will need to submit proof of legitimation or a bona fide parent-child relationship.

To apply for a stepchild, you must also prove your marriage to the child’s parent. You must also provide divorce certificates to show that any prior marriages have been terminated. 

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