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Understanding immigration law as it pertains to minors

Bringing a minor into the United States is always going to be a complicated process. In addition to determining the child's current citizenship status, the courts will also need to take a close look at the status of their parents and siblings. Those who plan on immigrating to the United States with younger children should spend some extra time familiarizing themselves with the current immigration and naturalization laws so that they don't run into any major roadblocks.

Before this process begins, parents must collect quite a few documents and gather some information on their child. If the parent is currently a United States citizen, then they need proof of their citizenship and some type of documentation that verifies their relationship with the minor. The easiest way to prove the relationship is with a birth certificate, but marriage certificates and adoption decrees should work as well.

Once all of that data and documentation has been gathered, the U.S. citizen who is filing on behalf of the child must fill out Petition for Alien Relative form I-130. If the child is currently living in the United States, then an Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, form I-485, must be filled out as well. After the paperwork has been submitted, it will take anywhere from 7 to 30 months to process.

Immigration and naturalization laws are more complex than most people realize, and that is why so many people turn to attorneys who have experience with family-based immigration. While most of the required paperwork seems straightforward, processing errors are very common. An experienced attorney may expedite this process by double-checking the paperwork and making sure that it is filed correctly.

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  • American Immigration Lawyers Association
  • State Bar of California | California Board of Legal Specialization
  • Avvo
  • Orange County Bar Association
  • Irvine Chamber