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Family Green Cards: How Does USCIS Define 'Child'? | Immigration Lawyer Mario Godoy | Godoy Law Office

Family Green Cards: How Does USCIS Define ‘Child’?

The United States immigration system has a ‘preference immigrant’ system for family-based Green Cards. Immigration visa category limits do not apply to family Green Cards to immediate family members of U.S. citizens, which includes parents, unmarried minor children, children about to be adopted, and spouses. These family members would be considered a priority. The age and marital status of your children are important factors in the immigration process. If you want to bring your children to live with you in America, for immigration purposes it’s important to understand how USCIS defines child.

Note: The USCIS definition of child is different for Green Card and other visa applications than for citizenship and naturalization applications.

WATCH: Chicago Immigration Lawyer Mario Godoy Explains How USCIS Defines ‘Child’ for Family-Based Green Cards


In this video, we’re going to discuss how immigration defines ‘child’ for purposes of obtaining a Green Card.

The immigration law has a specific definition of who it considers a child for purposes of obtaining a Green Card. This is really important because it defines situations where a child can get a Green Card, where a parent can get a Green Card or where a sibling can get a Green Card. 

A child is an unmarried person under 21 years of age who is basically:

1. A child who is born in wedlock.

2. A stepchild where the child relationship was was created when that child was under 18.

3. A child legally legitimated before 18 and in the custody of their father at that time. 

4. A child born out of wedlock where the relationship is either with the mother or with a father where a bona fide parent-child relationship exists.

5. An adopted child. There are more important variations when it comes to adoptions and that’s a little bit beyond the scope of this video. 

6. Certain types of orphans can also be included as a child. 

Now if you have any immigration questions contact us for a consultation. 

Chicago Family-Based Green Card Attorney

The process of obtaining a family-based Green Card is complex and competitive. To help ensure that every step in the visa application process is completed to give the applicant the best opportunity for a speedy and successful outcome, a skilled immigration attorney can put their experience to work for you and review your circumstances to help you make the decisions to help you succeed. If you need help with an immigration issue, please contact our office at 855-554-6369.  

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