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Visas and Green Cards
for Children

Are you a green card holder or U.S. citizen and want to sponsor your child, step-child, adopted child, son or daughter?
Are you worrying they will age out and will not longer be eligible to recive green card?

We’re Here to Help!

Green Card Application for a Child of a U.S. citizen

Unmarried children under 21 year old of U.S. citizens are eligible to apply for permanent resident status as immediate relatives. Immediate relatives may immigrate to the United States on a family based petition. This is the most attractive category, since there is no limitation to the number of immigrants who may qualify under this category and, in most cases, visa numbers are immediately available for these individuals to apply for lawful permanent residence. Immediate relatives include spouses, children and parents of U.S. citizens. Unmarried children over 21, married children of any age, and siblings of US citizens are classified under the family preference category and do not have a visa number immediately available when petitioning. These relatives have to wait until their priority date, or the date on which a US citizen sponsor correctly filed the petition with the USCIS, becomes current.

Green Card Application for a Child of U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident

A lawful permanent resident (a foreign-born individual with a green card) may petition to bring their child to the United States, depending on the child’s age and marital status. Under U.S. immigration law, a “child” is a son or daughter under the age of 21 who is unmarried. This also includes the children of your child. Permanent residents also may petition on behalf of unmarried sons and daughters who are over the age of 21 (as well as their children).

There are different rules, regulations, and statutes that apply to different scenarios involving sponsoring a child. The rules vary if you want to bring your child over 21 or over 21, whether you want to adopt a child and sponsor the child for a green card, and whether you are sponsoring a step-child or a biological child. Case law is evolving on who can benefit from special provisions under the Child Status Protection Act, a law that was created to help stop – in some circumstances – the unnecessary separation of family when the child “ages out” at the age of 21 and is no longer included on their family’s immigrant visa petition.

Then there are rules and potential benefits for children who are in the U.S. on their own without their parents who have fled to the U.S. due to fear of violence, abandonment by one of their parents, or other reasons.  Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, and special asylum procedures for unaccompanied underage children are just some of the alternative potential relief for children.

Call our office today to discuss your case. The immigration process is time consuming and complicated under the best circumstances. Failing to understand the complicated requirements of an immigration process can result in additional delays and expenses, or even loss of eligibility to immigrate altogether. Immigration laws and policies are subject to change as federal governments change hands, so it’s important to get help from experienced immigration attorney.

About Our Firm

The Law Offices of David S. Santee is a Philadelphia-based law firm that represents individuals and businesses in a variety of immigration matters, including family-based applications for permanent residency and naturalization, employment-based immigrant and non-immigrant petitions, asylum petitions, and removal defense. We have  extensive experience with the EB-5 Immigrant Investor Program, having worked on more than 175 projects seeking EB-5 financing. Our firm’s founder, David S. Santee, Esquire, has nearly two decades of experience practicing law. A seasoned courtroom advocate, Mr. Santee is the former Director of Trial Advocacy Programs at Villanova University School of Law, where he continues to teach a course in Trial Advocacy as an Adjunct Professor. In addition to representing clients in immigration matters, Mr. Santee has also tried hundreds of criminal cases. He often represents individuals who are at risk of being removed from the United States due to pending or past criminal charges.

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See What Our Clients Have to Say

  • “I have had the privilege of working closely with Mr. Santee for over 5 years and have relied on his superb skills and excellent judgement to assist me in completing complex cases to successful outcomes. Our organization wouldn’t be where we are today without the strong relationship we have with Mr. Santee.”

    Thomas Martin Vice President, Baker Tilly Capital
  • “Mr. Santee represented me on my appeal. He got my conspiracy charge reduced and my sentence cut in half so that I ended up with time-served. He saved me four years of parole!”

    K.T. Lawncrest
  • "I thought I was going to die in prison. However, today I can see the light at the end of the tunnel because of the dedication and hard work of Attorney at Law David Santee. Anyone who is seeking true representation from an attorney who is not going to take your money and sell you out should consider David Santee because he will ensure your rights are protected."

    Luis Gonzalez Former Juvenile Lifer

More About Our Immigration Practice


Family Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to immigrate to the United States through a family member who is a United States Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident. This includes spouses, finances, children, siblings, and other family members.


Employment Petitions

We represent individuals who are seeking to travel or immigrate to the United States based on their employment status. This includes priority workers, skilled workers, professionals with advanced degrees, and foreign investors.


Removal Defense

We represent individuals in removal proceedings in Immigration Court. If you or a loved one has been served with a Notice to Appear in Immigration Court, contact us now to find out what defenses are available.

Based in Philadelphia
Serving all of Pennsylvania

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