Ep. 22 I have a minor US citizen child, can I get a green card?

  • Misconceptions of having a US citizen child for parents legalization
  • A US citizen child must be 21 years old to be able to petition for parents; 18 years old to petition for sibling
  • Cannot get green card by having a minor US citizen child

Raw Transcript:

Introduction: You ask we answer your immigration questions. Simple. And now your host immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick.

Jacob: Hello everybody. Welcome to another episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer. I’m very excited to be here and we’re getting tons of questions. Tons of questions because of this podcast and I’m very grateful.

This question is coming to us via Facebook. Again, a common question that many, many people all over the world are asking. Can I get a green card based on the fact that I have a minor US citizen child that was just born here in the US?

The question goes further talking about a citizen of China who’s been living in the US on H1B visa and they just had a child about a year ago and they want to know whether they can apply for a green card – they’re both on H1B – based on the birth of their child. The child is under the age of 21.

Well, first of all … this is the big misconception. Most people think, many people think that just because they have a US citizen child they can stay in the US and eventually get a green card. Well, the answer is no. The child must be 21 years old to be able to petition for his parents. So US citizen must be 18 years or older to petition for a sibling as well and at that point the sibling will go into a waiting line. But you can’t get a green card just by having a US citizen child who’s a minor. It’s very important.

So people that are here with visas must find other ways to stay legally in the US until their kids to get older or they find other ways to get a green card through employment in this case. This couple’s case, the company who got their work visa can go ahead and apply for the green card as well.

They are cases where citizen parents … parents of US citizen children can get some sort of a relief from deportation. It’s called cancellation of removal because they meet certain criteria. For example they have a US citizen child and in that case the child does not have to be over the age of 21. Let’s say people live in the US for more than ten years and they get arrested and they’re facing deportation. The fact that they have a US citizen child can be used to help them but their child is not sponsoring them for a green card. We can discuss that in another topic where we talk about removal.

So bottom line, if you have a US citizen child in the US, the child under 21 cannot get you a green card. Very important to know. Excellent.

Thanks for joining us for another segment. We’ll see you at our next episode. You ask, we answer, simple. This is Jacob Sapochnick. I wish you all the best.

Closing: Thank you for listening to the Ask My Immigration Lawyer Podcast, the show that’s dedicated to answering your immigration questions. Simple as that. See you next week for another round of questions and much needed answers.