March 10, 2020

Can grandparents petition for a grandchild to enter the U.S.?

You may find yourself in a situation where your grandchild lives in another country and has citizenship there but not in the U.S. Having U.S. citizenship is quite beneficial, so it makes sense if you desire to bring your grandchild here so he or she can eventually try to become a citizen. However, immigration laws are very specific about family sponsorship. 

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, you cannot sponsor a grandchild for entry into the country. The sponsorship of family has limits that do not extend to a grandchild. However, you can sponsor your child who is your grandchild’s parent, which can open the door for your grandchild to also legally enter the country. 

Sponsoring your child 

When you sponsor your child, you will submit a petition that validates your relationship. You will need to provide evidence of your relationship and show that you are a U.S. citizen. This petition only shows a qualifying relationship and puts your child in line to apply for a visa when it is his or her turn. 

Do note, though, that if your child is in the country already through legal means, once you file this petition, he or she can immediately file for a visa. Also, if your child is under the age of 21 and not married, then he or she will not have to wait either and can immediately file for a visa. 

If your child must wait in line, he or she could wait a few years because waits for visas are quite lengthy. 

The good news 

What happens when your child can apply for a visa is that your grandchild can also immediately file along with your child. So, through sponsoring your child, you are sponsoring your grandchild, as well. 

When you file a petition on behalf of your child, you are not only proving your relationship. You are also making a commitment to be the financial sponsor of your child when he or she enters the country.