Deciding to move your family to a new country is a monumental step. If you are planning to bring your children to the United States from another country, you might feel overwhelmed by the intricate process. Rest assured, many families successfully navigate this path every year. In fact, according to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, parents brought almost 300,000 children into the United States in 2021.
As you embark on this journey, it is important to familiarize yourself with the required procedures and immigration policies. With patience and careful preparation, you can work your way through the process.
Understand U.S. immigration law
A fundamental part of the process involves understanding U.S. immigration law. The U.S. government has different visas and immigration routes, some of which are specifically designed for families. Depending on your circumstances, you could consider family-based immigrant visas or the adoption of orphaned children from other countries.
Family-based immigrant visas
If you are a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, you can petition to bring your children to the U.S. using a family-based immigrant visa. For minor children (under 21 and unmarried), U.S. citizens typically use an Immediate Relative (IR) visa. Permanent residents, on the other hand, can apply for a Family Preference (F) visa.
Adopt from abroad
If you are considering adopting a child from another country, the U.S. offers the Intercountry Adoption Program. To use this program, you must meet specific requirements and follow a detailed legal process to ensure the child’s welfare.
Apply for a visa
The visa application process involves several steps, including filing a petition, waiting for approval, paying fees and attending an interview. The U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs provides extensive guidance on this process.
Arrival and adjustment in the U.S.
Upon approval, your children can travel to the U.S. Once they arrive, they might need to adjust their immigration status, especially if they plan to seek permanent residency or citizenship.
By understanding and following the appropriate immigration procedures, you can make your children’s entry into the United States significant transition smoother. Remember, it is a process, and every step brings you closer to establishing your family in the United States.