Sign up for our Email Newsletter


Immigration Library

We provide the professional
and comprehensive on-line immigration law library...

Read More

Our Services

We are dedicated to provide
all aspects of US immigration services and counseling...

Read More

Free Seminars

We are committed to educating those interested in learning U.S immigration laws ...

Read More

Other close family members of U.S. citizen: Unmarried Child

The only distinction in eligibility between a child in this category and a child of an "immediate relative of a U.S. citizen" is that the child in this category is over 21 years old. That means to qualify as a "child" in this category, the person must be the son or daughter of a U.S. citizen, who is unmarried and over the age of 21. An adopted child qualifies as long as the adoption was finalized before the child's 16th birthday, the adoptive parents have legal custody of the child for two years (before or after the adoption), and the child resides with the adoptive parents for two years (before or after the adoption). A stepchild qualifies as long as the marriage had occurred before the stepchild's 18th birthday.

Immediate family members of the married alien child may also apply for a green card with the child. The annual visa allotment available for this preference is 23,400, plus any visas not used by the fourth preference. Please see "Visa Bulletin" for the latest information on usage of the visa quota.
There are two scenarios for unmarried children of U.S. citizens to apply for immigration petition:

  1. The first scenario is that the child is already in the United States in a nonimmigrant status. In this case, the U.S. citizen may only file an immigration petition (Form I-130) for the alien child. The child has to wait for the immigrant visa number to become current before he or she may apply to adjust to permanent resident (Form I-485). During this waiting period, the child needs to independently maintain a valid nonimmigrant status.
  2. The second scenario is that the child is outside the United States. In this case, the U.S. citizen needs to file an immigration petition and request that the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (formerly Immigration & Naturalization Service) notify a U.S. Consulate in the country where the child lives. Once the immigration petition is approved and an immigrant visa is available, the National Visa Center of the U.S. State Department sends a forms and information package, "Packet 3", to the U.S. citizen. After the necessary forms are completed, the child goes to the U.S. Consulate overseas to apply for an immigrant visa. On the day that the child enters the United States on an immigrant visa, he or she becomes a U.S. permanent resident.

For more information on unmarried children over 21 years of age of U.S. citizens, please click on the following links:


Zhang & Associates, P.C. | Copyright © 2009. All Rights Reserved.
Tel: 1.800.230.7040 ■ E-mail: ■ Privacy Policy