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Marriage Based Green Card Eligibility - Children born to Unmarried Parents


I am a U.S. citizen. One of my son was born to unmarried parents, can I apply for his Green Card?


If the petitioning spouse is a U.S. citizen and the unmarried children under 21 are his or her biological children, or are legal stepchildren because you and your spouse married when they were under age 18, they qualify for green cards as the U.S. petitioner's immediate relatives.

Immediate relatives are given high priority under the immigration laws, with no annual limits to slow their receipt of a green card. But they each need separate visa petitions filed on their behalf, using USCIS Form I-130.

Some of the visa possibilities for children of the immigrant depend on a biological parent-child relationship between the new U.S. citizen or permanent resident spouse and the children. Thus, immigration law recognizes certain nonbiological parent-child relationships, and includes them as “children.”  
For children born to unmarried parents,

1) If the petitioner is the child’s mother, the case is handled just like any other child immigration application case.

2) But if the petitioner is the child’s father, he will have to prove that he was the biological father, and either had a real relationship with the child before the child turned 21, such as living together or financial support, or took legal steps to formally “legitimate” the child before his or her 18th birthday. At the time of legitimation, the child must have been in the legal custody of the father.




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