EP21: How To Apply For Child Visa K2/CR2 Visa
This podcast episode is for those of you who have children outside the US and want to bring them to the US. If you’re planning to apply for a visa for your spouse or fiancé and want to “piggyback” they application at the same time. If you’re wondering how to apply for a child visa K2/CR2 visa, then listen up!
Before having a child of my own… I rarely thought about kids. I’m being completely serious. Now that I have a son, I see children everywhere and everything they do is adorable!
So, this post is for all the parents out there that are eager to bring their kids to the US and provide a safe and loving home environment for them (not that they aren’t safe and loved where they are now 😉)
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Alfred married the love of his life Marcia 3 months ago and they he as recently become stepdad to her 5 year old daughter Mya. He began researching the processing of applying for a spouse visa (CR1) and was confused on how to include they daughter on the forms.
He wondered if he would need to submit an additional I-130 petition for her and pay a second filing fee. The process was very confusing to him and he wanted to make sure he did it correctly.
The case example above is very common in the emails I receive from readers and listeners. Although the process to bring a spouse or fiancé to the United States is complicated, applying for your child can seem even more complicated.
Don’t worry though, I got your back on this!
Related Post: CR2 Visa Processing Times
Related Post: K2 Visa Processing Timeline
USCIS Definition Of A Child For Immigration Purposes
This may come as a surprise to you but did you know that there is different definition of who qualifies as a child to USCIS?
Yes, I’m being serious!
Although your child will always be your baby, to USCIS, they are only a child if they are unmarried and under the age of 21. So, let’s take a look at some of the requirements for eligibility for the K2 or CR2 visa.
A Child Must Meet Two Criteria:
They must be unmarried and under 21 years of age.
Example: A daughter who is 21 years old when the petition is filed is not a child (under immigration law) and cannot be petitioned for as an immediate relative. (She may be able to immigrate as a “daughter” through the preference system.)
Example: A married 19-year-old daughter is not a child. But a 19-year-old divorced daughter is a child.
Note that if the USCIS or the immigration court find that the divorce was sought purely for purposes of obtaining an immigration benefit, they may see the petition and corresponding application as fraudulent and could deny you.
They must have a child-parent relationship that USCIS recognizes.
Biological children who were born in wedlock are considered “children” of their biological parents.
Other children, such as stepchildren, adopted children, adopted orphans, and children born out of wedlock, may also qualify if they meet specific additional requirements.
Stepchild Applying For K2 or CR2 Visa
Example: Gina, a lawful permanent resident, marries Juan. Juan has a 10-year-old daughter, Rosie. Can Gina petition Rosie as her child? Yes. Since Juan and Gina married before Rosie reached the age of 18, Rosie is Gina’s child for immigration purposes. She became Gina’s stepchild as of the date of Gina and Juan’s marriage.
In cases where the parents are still married, the stepparent doesn’t need to establish that he or she has an ongoing relationship with the child. However, if the marriage that created the stepchild relationship has been terminated by death, divorce or legal separation, the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) has ruled that the petitioning stepparent must prove that a stepparent- child relationship continues to exist after the fact.
Adopted Children Applying For K2 or CR2 Visa
There are number of requirements for adopted children to be considered as a “child” of the US petitioner.
The two years residing together and two years legal custody requirements do notneed to be at the same time.
The burden is placed on the parent to establish primary parental control during the two- year period of joint residence.
There are two exceptions to these requirements:
If the same adoptive parents adopt a brother or sister of an adopted child, the parents must meet the same requirements for the second child, but adoption may take place while the child was under the age of 18, rather than under 16 years.
The Violence Against Women Act of 2005, removed the two-year custody and residency requirements for abused adopted children.
Children Adopted Subject to Hague Adoption Convention
This is an agreement between the United States and many other countries governing international adoptions.
The Hague Convention changed the rules under which U.S. citizens can adopt children from the other countries that are part of the Convention.
U.S. citizens who want to adopt a child from one of these countries must be careful to comply with the rules of the Convention or their adoption will not be recognized by USCIS.
A child adopted from a Hague Convention country by a U.S. citizen that is a current U.S. resident qualifies for visa status as an immediate relative.
Note: If a child is adopted from a non-Hague Convention country, but is adopted abroad, this adoption is classified as an “Orphan Adoption” and different rules apply.
Adopted Orphans Applying For K2 or CR2 Visa
- There is no requirements that the child’s birth parents be deceased.
- Adopting parent must obtain a valid home study before adopting and meet other requirements.
- If the same adoptive parents adopt a brother or sister of an orphan, the second child must meet the same requirements but can be considered an orphan if the orphan petition is filed while he or she is under the age of 18.
Children Born Out of Wedlock
If a child’s parents are not married at the time of birth, he or she is considered a “child born out of wedlock.” This term was derogatory way back when but now there isn’t much stigma (if any) in it.
Evidence To Include If Petition Is The Father
They must prove that the father has “legitimated” the child, or
They must prove bona fide relationship with the child before the child reaches the age of 21 by showing “an actual concern for the child’s support, instruction and general welfare.”
The family also must prove that the father is the biological father. (DNA test)
Case Example:Geraldo has a daughter Eliza. He and Eliza’s mother never married. Geraldo lived and worked in the United States for years, but he always sent money to Eliza’s mother for her upbringing in Mexico. He visited her every year when he returned to Mexico, and they sometimes wrote letters to each other. Everyone in the village knows that Geraldo is Eliza’s father. Geraldo’s mother in Mexico is a devoted grandmother to Eliza and often cares for her.Geraldo has become a permanent resident and wants to petition for Eliza, who is 16. To prove that they have had a bona fide relationship, he will submit copies of money-order receipts, copies of letters, and affidavits of friends, neighbors and others to show the emotional and financial support he provided to Eliza as her father.
Secondary Evidence For Paternity
- baptism certificates;
- school records;
- DNA evidence may also be required.
TIP: Always disclose all children you may have inside or outside of marriage. Some people are not aware that children born out of wedlock are also “children” for immigration purposes.
How To Include a Child on Immigrant Petition
Including your foreign child on the I-130 petition or the I-129F petition is easy!
Let’s quickly go over what steps you need to take to include your child on the initial petition.
Must include them on the I-129F petition or I-130 petition.
When completing the initial petition for your spouse or fiancé, be sure to list all of your children. You can do this by providing their names on the form where it asks for family members of the beneficiary. Even if the child will not be immigrating right away, list them anyway!
No extra fee with initial petition.
Thankfully, you will not need to submit a second (or third) filing fee to include your child on the initial petition. You only need to submit one payment for the I-130 or I-129F.
For more information on the fees and process, check out the links below.
When completing immigrant visa application, list all children.
This is a no brainer, but a good number of people still don’t do this! Include ALL children on your forms no matter whether they are moving to the US or not.
- Age limitation of under 21 – A child must be under the age of 21 and unmarried at the time of filing.
- Time limitation of follow to join – A child can join you in the US at a later date.
Must complete separate Medical Exam.
A child must complete a separate medical exam. It’s best to make their appointment on the same day as the beneficiary so you’ll only make one trip. The medical will consist of the child’s medical history, x-ray and vaccination updates.
Must complete the CR2 visa interview.
The interview is usually schedule on the same day as the beneficiary parent but not always. Very young children may sit in with the beneficiary and won’t be asked questions.
An older child will likely be asked questions during the interview. But the consular officer will mainly focus on the spouse or fiancé of the US citizen.
Conclusion: Applying For A Child Visa K2/CR2 Visa
No one wants to leave their children behind to start a new life in the US. Thankfully you don’t have to. This episode will prepare you to bring your child to the US on a K2 or CR2 visa.
If you choose to have your child fly to the US at a later date, that is fine too. See the follow-to-join option for more information on this option.
If you’re ready to submit your I-130 petition or I-129F petition? Need more help figuring out what documents to include and how to fill out the forms correctly? Check out the Migrant Academy!
It’s a complete interactive online course program for the K1 fiancé visa and CR1 spouse visa. Learn exactly what information to include for your child and how to prepare for the interview questions.
You’ll also receive personalized help directly from myself so that you are comfortable with the entire process. Join us today and let’s get your approved sooner than you think!
Ayan is the founder of the Migrant Academy community, the My Path To Citizenship Blog and Podcast.
After successfully navigating the hurdles of US immigration. She now dedicates her time to helping other couples achieve their goals of starting their new life together in the US.