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How to Apply for a Green Card for my Daughter?

How to Apply for a Green Card for my Daughter?

If you are wondering how to apply for a green card for my daughter, this article will help answer your questions regarding the green card for daughter process. If you are a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident, US immigration laws enable you to apply for a green card for your daughter. Depending on your daughter’s age and marital status, as well as your immigration status, she may be eligible for an immediate relative green card or for a family-based second preference category green card.

Keep in mind that changes in your citizenship status, as well as your daughter’s age and marital status can affect the type of green card your daughter is eligible for. If you would like to petition for a green card for daughter, make sure you understand which category your case falls under and that you submit all necessary documents to prove your daughter’s eligibility for a green card.  If you would like to learn more about your options or require case specific advice, please contact our family-based immigration attorneys who can review your case and provide a custom-tailored immigration strategy for your needs. 

This article will help answer a variety of questions that you may be asking yourself if you are trying to obtain a green card for daughter: from “How to apply for green card for my daughter?”, through “Can I file for my daughter with a green card?” to “Can I get a green card for daughter over 21?” It will also guide you through the process of applying for a green card for your daughter.

The first question you must evaluate when applying for daughter green card is whether your daughter qualifies as your “child” under the Immigration and Nationality Act. You can sponsor your daughter if she is your biological daughter, your step-daughter (as long as the marriage creating the step-daughter relationship occurred before your daughter’s 18th birthday), and an adopted daughter (as long as the adoption occurred before your daughter’s 16th birthday). 

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Green Card for Daughter FAQ

How to apply for green card for my daughter?

Depending on your immigration status, your daughter’s age, and her marital status, you can apply for a green card for your daughter either under the immediate relative category, if your daughter is under the age of 21 and unmarried, or through the family visa preference system depending on your daughter’s age and marital status. Below you can find detailed explanations on the different visa categories and how to obtain a green card for daughter. 

Can I apply for a green card for my daughter as a US citizen?

US citizens can sponsor a green card for a daughter of any age, regardless of whether she is married or not. If you are a US citizen, you can file for a green card for daughter over 21 even if she is married.

Can I file for my daughter with a green card?

As a green card holder you can sponsor a green card for your daughter regardless of her age, but your daughter must be unmarried. So if you are wondering “can I file for my daughter with a green card?” or “can a green card holder file for her daughter?”, the answer is Yes! Also keep in mind if your daughter is already married all may not be lost. After being a green card holder for five years, you may apply for naturalization. Once you are a naturalized US citizen you will be able to sponsor your married daughter for a green card.  

Can I apply for a green card for my daughter if she is born out of wedlock?

If you and your partner were not married at the time of your daughter’s birth, she is considered “a child born out of wedlock” for immigration purposes. A child born out of wedlock can prove the necessary relationship to her US citizen mother by showing her birth certificate. If you are a father trying to apply for a green card for daughter born out of wedlock, you will have to provide additional documents to prove your paternity.

Can a green card holder file for her daughter if she was adopted?

If you adopted your daughter before she turned 16, and she has been in your custody and living with you for at least two years, you can generally apply for a green card for your adopted daughter.

Can I apply for a green card for my daughter if she is my stepdaughter?

If you married your spouse before your stepdaughter turned 18, you can apply for a green card for your daughter even if she is your stepchild.

How to apply for  green card for my daughter?

Three things will determine the best strategy on how to apply for a green card for your daughter: 

  1. Your immigration status – if you are a US citizen, your daughter might be eligible for an immediate relative immigrant visa, but if you are a lawful permanent resident, you will have to apply for a green card for your daughter through the preference system.
  2. Your daughter’s age – whether she is over or under 21 will determine the kind of immigrant visa she can obtain.
  3. Your daughter’s marital status – if you are a lawful permanent resident and your daughter is married, you will not be able to obtain a green card for your daughter because she is ineligible for family-based immigration through her relationship to you. 

Immediate Relative Green Card Petition for Daughter

If you are a US citizen petitioning for your daughter who is unmarried and is under the age of 21, she is eligible for a green card under the immediate relative category. The immediate relative category is the most beneficial green card category because there are no caps on the amount of green cards issued in this category. This results in no additional backlogs and delays besides the regular processing times. If you would like to learn more about the immediate relative category and how it may benefit your daughter, please read our green card for child article.

Green card for unmarried daughter over 21

If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor a green card for daughter over 21 years of age. Green cards for unmarried daughters over 21 fall into the F1 family-based first preference visa category. Due to the large quantity of F1 category green card applications received by the government each year, the typical wait time for a F1 green card is approximately 8 years. However, if your daughter is born in the Philippines or Mexico, this wait time can exceed over 10 years. To see the exact backlogs, please visit the Visa Bulletin which is published every month. 

Although the wait times for green card for unmarried daughter over 21 are long, depending on the other immigration options available to your daughter, the F1 visa category could be a good option for your daughter to move to the United States.

Green card for daughter over 21 and married daughter 

If you are a US citizen, you can sponsor a green card for daughter over 21 whether or not your daughter is married. A green card petition for a married daughter over 21 falls in the F3 family-based third preference category, which is reserved for married children of US citizens. The F3 category currently has a wait time of approximately 13 years. If your daughter is born in the Philippines or Mexico, this wait time may be longer than 20 years. 

Can a green card holder file for her daughter

A green card holder can file for her daughter, if the daughter is unmarried. A green card holder petitioning for a daughter falls into the F2 second preference family-based category which is reserved for spouses and children of green card holders. If you are wondering, “can I file for my daughter with a green card?” the answer is Yes!  If you are a green card holder filing for your daughter under 21, then your petition will fall into the F2A visa preference category. The F2A category is for spouses and unmarried children under 21 of green card holders.  

If you are a green card holder filing for a daughter over 21, your daughter cannot be married to be eligible for a green card through you. A green card holder cannot sponsor a married a married daughter for permanent residence. If you are filing a green card petition for a daughter over 21, your case will fall into the F2B visa category. The F2B category is for  unmarried children over 21 of green card holders. If you are a green card holder whose daughter is married, your daughter cannot apply for a green card through you at this time. F2B category green card cases have wait times at approximately 6 years, unless your daughter is born in Mexico or the Philippines in which case processing times are significantly longer. 

If you are a green card holder who seeks to sponsor a green card for your married daughter, all hope is not lost. If you have been a permanent resident for 5 years, you may apply for naturalization, which will grant you US citizenship. As a naturalized US citizen you can petition for an F3 green card for your married daughter. 

Green card for daughter step by step

If you are asking yourself “How to apply for green card for my daughter?”, below you can find a step-by-step explanation of the process that will help you obtain a green card for your daughter.

Below we highlight the key steps in the green card for daughter process: 

Step 1: You, the US citizen or permanent resident parent, files the petition to sponsor the daughter. This is done by submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS including all required evidence. 

Step 2: Your daughter waits for a green card to become available. If you are filing under the immediate relative category, then there are no additional waiting periods for this step. However, if you are filing under any of the family-based preference categories, then it is important that you check the Visa Bulletin to track when you daughter is eligible to file her green card application. 

Step 3: Your daughter applies for a green card. When you daughter’s priority date is current on the Visa Bulletin, she may apply for a green card.  If your daughter is located outside of the United States, she may apply for an immigrant visa through the National Visa Center by filing Form DS-260 If your daughter is in the United States in valid status when her priority date becomes current, she may apply for adjustment of status process by filing Form I-485, Application to Adjust Status

Step 4: Your daughter attends an immigration visa interview either at a USCIS field office or at a US embassy or consulate depending on whether she filed for an immigrant visa or for adjustment of status. If the immigration officer approves the application, your daughter will be granted a green card. 

Step 5: Once the officer approves the application, USCIS will mail your daughter a green card. If your daughter receives an immigrant visa after a consular interview, she will receive her green card in the mail after entering the United States. 

Green Card for Daughter Immigration Services

Are you wondering how to apply for green card for my daughter or can a green card holder file for her daughter? Our family-based immigration team has extensive experience helping families through the green card for daughter process.  

To schedule a consultation with our family-based immigration attorney, please click here and click on “Schedule a Consultation.” You can also email us at [email protected], or call us at (212) 220-6652.

During your consultation, our family-based immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, and a recommendation about your next steps.

I offer confidential 30 minute & 1 hour consultations.

Disclaimer: This blog article is provided by Pandev Law, LLC for general educational and informational purposes only. Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented in this article, or elsewhere on this website, without seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel, or other professional counsel, licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liability with respect to any actions taken, or not taken, based on any content of this article or website. This blog article may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.