Are you a United States citizen? Do you have the desire to bring a child to live with you in the country? If you find yourself in this position, you may have a variety of questions about what you should and shouldn’t be doing.

To start, you need to understand the definition of a child as it pertains to eligibility purposes. A child is anyone under the age of 21 who is not married.

Note: You have the right to petition on behalf of an unmarried daughter or son who is over the age of 21.

What are the documentation requirements?

There is a lot that goes into bringing a child to live in the United States. Here are some of the many steps that you need to take:

  • Complete a petition for alien relative, Form I-130. In addition to completing the form, you should sign it and include the filing fee.
  • Provide evidence of your United States citizenship. This can include any of the following: United States passport, United States birth certificate, certificate of citizenship, naturalization certificate or Consular Report of Birth Abroad.
  • Proof of name change. This may not always be applicable, but there are times, such as if you are married, where it’s necessary.
  • Proof of relationship. For example, if you’re the biological mother, you need to provide a copy of the child’s birth certificate. If you’re the biological gather, you’ll also need a copy of the marriage certificate to the child’s biological mother and evidence of an established relationship.

If you want to bring a child to live in the United States, you should begin to collect this information as soon as possible. Even if you have everything you need on hand, this is never a fast and simple process. Any number of challenges could arise along the way.

As long as you know what’s required of you, which steps to take, and your legal rights for bringing a child to live in the United States, you’ll find yourself in position to reach your goal in the future.