U.S. Citizen: A United States citizen may apply for his or her children who are unmarried and under the age of 21 and also possibly stepchildren.
The child of a United States is considered an “immediate relative*.”
Lawful Permanent Resident: A lawful permanent resident may file for his or her foreign national child.
The child of a lawful permanent resident is not an immediate relative. The child is assigned to the F2A category (spouse and children of permanent residents). The waiting period for a visa to become available varies depending on the foreign national’s country. Current wait times can be found at the U.S. Department of State in the U.S. Visa Bulletin.
*Immediate relatives receive special priority in immigration. Unlike beneficiaries in other family-based petitions, immediate relatives do not have to wait for a visa number to become available in order to immigrate to the United States. There are no visa limits for the immediate relative category.
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