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The Immediate Relative Process

Immediate Relative Process

Charleston Immigration Lawyer for Immediate Relative Adoptions

The Immediate Relative Process is a completely different program under which an adopted individual (yes, even an adult son or daughter) for immigration purposes can be admitted into the U.S. It is not just for pending adoptions like The Hague Process and The Orphan Process programs. This is significant! The adoption must be already completed and the adopting parent must have full and final adoption, satisfy custody of the child or adult and meet U.S. residency requirements before using the adoption as the basis for the immigration benefits. Further, adopted children may petition for their parents and siblings. This is also significant!

Immediate Relative Process Submissions

Consequently, a U.S. citizen may petition under this process for either:

  • Unmarried adopted child under the age of 21
  • Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21, or
  • Married son or daughter (Note: Discussions about whether the spouse and any children can also immigrate will handed elsewhere)

Furthermore, a Permanent Resident (green card holder) may petition under this process for either:

  • Unmarried adopted child under the age of 21
  • Unmarried son or daughter over the age of 21

An Adopted Child for immigration purposes is a child whose adoption is complete before age 16 with court or government sanction. In some situations, the age is extended to 18 if the adoptee is the sibling of another child adopted by the same parents. The adoptive parents must have had legal and physical custody and residence for 2 years while the child was a minor prior to the adoption. Legal custody and residence are accounted for in the aggregate. Therefore, a break in time will not affect the time already fulfilled. Also, custody and residence might be waived in certain abuse cases.

The Immediate Relative Process is initiated by filing USCIS Form I-130 with associated documentation along with any ancillary forms and paying required filing fees. Upon approval, the child, if outside the US, will receive an IR-2 (immediate relative) visa to enter the U.S. Remember, a visa does not guarantee U.S. entry. Entry will be determined at the border. The child will need a current passport from his or her country or origin. It is important to understand that the child can already be in the U.S. which is not the case with the other immigration adoptive processes.

Need an International Adoption Attorney in Charleston?

Adoptions of any type should not be undertaken without the assistance of a qualified attorney as there are numerous and many pitfalls in processing this type of application which can result in delays, denials and extreme hardship and heartache. The Charleston USA Immigration Law Center attorneys can assist you throughout this lengthy process. Contact us now to get started on your case.

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