The married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen is eligible for immigration in the 3rd Preference category. Stepchildren may also qualify for lawful permanent residency (Green Card), provided the child was under the age of 18 at the time of the marriage of the parent to the U.S. citizen.
Married Child Of A U.S. Citizen Inside The United States
The married son or daughter of a United States citizen can qualify for "adjustment of Status " while in the United States as a "3rd preference"
immigrant. This can be done only if the son or daughter either (1) entered with a visa or visa waiver program and they are still in legal status or (2) if they entered illegally or are out of status a an application for immigrant status with the INS was filed before 4/30/01 or with the department of labor for Labor Certification before 4/30/01. AND the priority date is current. All other sons or daughters of U.S. Citizens that either entered illegally in the United States or they are out of legal status will have to Visa Process and may have to apply for a waiver of the 3/10-year bar.
The adjustment of Status application is filed with the local INS office having jurisdiction over the Petitioner's residence. The packet is generally filed with an application for Employment Authorization and if desired with a permission to travel during the process (Advance Parole). A few months later a notice is sent directing the applicant to (1) appear for processing of the employment authorization (EAD) (2) take fingerprints (3) appear for the adjustment interview. On the date of the adjustment interview you should be granted a permanent Immigrant Visa (Green Card). The son or daughter may file for U.S. citizenship 4 years and 9 months after the approval of the Permanent Visa (Green Card).
Married Child Of A U.S. Citizen Outside The United States
The first step in establishing your eligibility to immigrate to the United States is to have your U.S. citizen parent file an Immigrant Visa Petition with the office of the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS) having jurisdiction over his/her place of residence.
Petitions Required to be Filed in the U.S. – File the I-130 petitions at the USCIS Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of U.S. residence.
Filing Petitions Abroad - Petitions, Form I-130, which can be filed abroad are limited. Petitions for immediate relative immigrant classifications can be filed abroad by American citizen petitioners who have been authorized to be continuously resident in their consular districts for at least the preceding six months, including members of the U.S. armed forces, emergency cases involving life and death or health and safety, and others determined to be in the national interest. Petitions are filed with USCIS abroad or at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (when there is no USCIS presence).
If the U.S. citizen parent (the petitioner) presently resides abroad, s/he can file petition by post to the USCIS office at this Embassy . Proof of residence in the country is required If the petition is approved, USCIS will send the approved petition to the Immigrant Visa Branch at this Embassy for further processing of the visa.
If your U.S. citizen parent resides in the U.S. s/he should file with the USCIS office having jurisdiction over his/her place of residence in the United States. The processing can take several months. USCIS will send the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing
NVC plays an important role in the next steps of the U.S. immigration process. NVC provides instructions to petitioners and sponsors, and receives from sponsors, the required Affidavit of Support forms, fees, other required documents, and much more.
For numerically limited family preference petitions, NVC contacts the petitioner once the petition’s immigration wait nears end, and the priority date is about to come current .
At which time the NVC will send you a package to prepare. This package contains all the vital information needed to approve the Permanent Visa (Green Card). You will send the completed package to the U.S. consulate were the parent resides.
The U.S. Consulate will notify you of the interview date and the address for the medical exam and fingerprints once the priority date become current.
Accompanying Spouse And Children
The Spouse and children under the age of twenty-one who are traveling with the married son or daughter of a U.S. Citizens may be included in the petition.