My Parent Married A US Citizen. Can I Get Citizenship Too?
A marriage is one of the most straightforward ways to obtain a green card, and many Americans become naturalized through this process. But what if you’re not the one who’s actually getting married? What if it’s actually your parent who is getting their green card as a result of their wedding? If your parent is now a US citizen or permanent resident due to this marriage, doesn’t this give you the same rights by default? As you’ll see, the answer is a little complicated.
What Does the USCIS Say?
According to the USCIS’ official website:
“If you are the spouse or child of a U.S. citizen’s immediate relative, you must independently qualify for a Green Card and file your own application. You cannot qualify for a Green Card as the derivative beneficiary based on the immediate relative’s application.”
The definition of “immediate relative” is generally understood to include spouses.
This would suggest that if your parent gets a green card through marriage to a US citizen, this doesn’t really help you obtain your own green card.
The Child’s Age Matters
But when you dig a little deeper into this situation, it’s clear that there is more complexity than the USCIS website seems to imply. First of all, age matters. If you are under the age of 21, you may be placed into the same category as your immigrating parent. If everything goes smoothly, you will all get green cards at the same time.
Furthermore, the definition of “child” is worth exploring according to US immigration law. If you become the stepchild of a US citizen and the marriage took place before you turned 18, you are considered to be the child of a US citizen. This is important, since the United States has a clear policy to keep families together whenever possible. This means giving children of US citizens an easier route to residency and citizenship. Last but not least, you must be unmarried to qualify as a child. To summarize, you must be unmarried, under the age of 21, or 18 at the time of the marriage to benefit from your parent’s marriage to a US citizen.
Of course, internet research can only get you so far. For a more detailed explanation and guidance based on your specific situation, it always makes sense to get in touch with a qualified attorney.
Where Can I Find a Qualified Immigration Attorney in Palm Beach County?
If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Palm Beach County immigration attorney, look no further than the Devore Law Group. We know that things can get a little complicated when you’re dealing with green cards obtained through marriage. The good news is that once your parent obtains their green card, it should be easier for you to navigate the immigration process. That being said, this process gets even easier (and faster) if you work with a qualified immigration attorney. Reach out today, book a consultation, and get started with an effective action plan.