If you are a U.S. citizen, there are two ways you can bring your significant other to the U.S. to get a green card (AKA lawful permanent residency). You can read more about the difference in a blog post I had written by clicking here. In this post, I am going to talk about adding beneficiaries to a fiancé(e) visa.
For a child to be included as a beneficiary and to get a K-2 visa, and eventually, a green card, under his or her parent’s fiance(e) visa petition, the child must under 21 years old and unmarried. Some people confuse this and think that in order for a child to get a K-2 visa the child must be under 18 years old. It is important to be sure that these children’s names are included in the initial fiancé(e) petition. The child can either come to the U.S. at the same time as the parent, or the child can join the parent at a later time. If the child does not come at the same time as the parent, he or she must come to the U.S. within one year from the date that the parent was initially issued the visa. As long as the child was under 21 years old at the time they are admitted into the U.S. with a K-2 visa, and the child’s parent married the U.S. citizen within 90 days of the parent entering the U.S. on the K-1 visa, the child will not age out of eligibility to get a green card.
In scenarios where a U.S. citizen wants to marry someone who has children who are over 18, but under 21, going the fiancé(e) route may be better strategically to be able to get these children green cards much faster. In cases where a U.S. citizen has already married someone and the stepchildren are over 18 years old, those children would no longer be considered “immediate relatives” of the U.S. citizen, and the wait time would be considerably longer for those children to get green cards. In those cases, those children would have to be petitioned by the green card holder parent, which would also make them subject to the visa bulletin. Read more about the visa bulletin by clicking here.
Another important fact is that the fiancé (e) visas are only eligible for those who are outside the U.S. and will process at a U.S. consulate abroad.