What supporting documents do you need to get a U.S. Green Card for your child?

July 31, 2020
What supporting documents do you need to get a U.S. Green Card for your child?

Summary

If you are a U.S. citizen or a permanent resident, you can sponsor your child for a Green Card. You and your child  will need to submit certain documents to the U.S. Government when you apply. The application process and documents you will need are different when the child you are seeking a Green Card for is living inside of the United States (“Adjustment of Status”) and when they are living outside of the United States (“Consular Processing”). This guide will serve as a document checklist for both processes.

This article is not legal advice. We do not intend for it to replace the expertise of an immigration attorney. Its goal is to help you understand which documents you will need to submit when you apply for a U.S. Green Card for your child.

Overview

Documents you will need regardless of where your child is living

Documents to submit with your Form I-130, “Petition for Alien Relative“

  1. Proof of your U.S. Citizenship

If  you are a U.S. citizen, you must provide proof of your citizenship. Acceptable documents include:

  • Your U.S. birth certificate, or
  • Your Valid U.S. passport, or
  • Your Naturalization Certificate, or
  • Your Certificate of Citizenship, or
  • Your Consular Report of Birth Abroad

2. Proof of your Green Card-holder (lawful permanent resident) status

If  you are a lawful permanent resident, you must provide proof of your permanent resident status. Acceptable documents include:

  • Your Green card (permanent resident card), or
  • Your Passport issued in another country and bearing stamp of temporary permanent residency in the United States

3. Proof of official name change, if any

If you or your child have changed your/their legal name you will need to provide proof of all name changes. Acceptable proof includes:

  • A marriage certificate,
  • a court order of name change, or
  • adoption papers.

4. Proof of your relationship with your child

If you are the genetic mother or a non-genetic gestational mother of your child, you will need to provide a copy of your child's official birth certificate.

If you are the Genetic father of your child, you will need to provide the following:

  • A copy of your step-child's official birth certificate
  • A copy of your marriage certificate to the child's genetic or legal gestational mother
  • If you and the genetic or legal gestational mother are no longer married, you must submit evidence that the marriage was legally terminated by death, divorce, or annulment.
  • If you didn't marry the child's mother before the child turned 18:
  • If the law where you or your child live considers the child legitimated, you do not need to provide additional information.
  • If your child is not legitimated under the law, you must submit evidence that you established a genuine father-child relationship before the child turned 21 or got married. This evidence should show strong emotional or financial involvement in the child's life.

If you are the step-parent (step-mother or step-father) of your child, you will need to provide the following:

  • A copy of your step-child's official birth certificate
  • A copy of your civil marriage certificate to your step-child's genetic or legal gestational parent
  • Proof of the legal termination of all previous marriages for you and the genetic parent or legal gestational mother (divorce decree, death certificate, annulment decree)

If you are the adoptive parent (adoptive mother or adoptive father) of your child, you will need to provide the following:

  • A copy of your child's original birth certificate
  • A copy of the final adoption decree,
  • Evidence that you had two years of legal custody (even if a court gave it to you before the final adoption decree)
  • Proof that you had two years of physical custody (this means the time the child was living with you, and you had primary parental control)

5. Passport photos of you

As a parent trying to get a Green Card, you will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) of yourself with your Form I-130 petition. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-130.

Documents to submit with your Form I-864, "Affidavit of Support"

In order to sponsor your child, you (and any co-sponsors) must submit a Form I-864, "Affidavit of Support.” Form I-864 requires the must provide the following documents from each sponsor:

  1. Proof of your ability to financially support your child

At minimum, you need to submit a copy of your most recent U.S. tax return. It could also be helpful to include:

  • Copies of your U.S. Federal income tax returns from the past 3 years
  • Pay stubs from the past 6 months
  • A letter from your employer showing proof of employment

2. Proof of the value of your assets (if you’re counting your assets to meet the income requirements)

If using your bank/investment accounts:

  • Ownership document of stocks, bonds, Certificates of Deposit (CDs), or other investment accounts
  • Bank statements

If using your home:

  • Proof of ownership (such as title or deed)
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • A recent tax assessment
  • Evidence of the amount of every loan secured by a mortgage, trust deed, or other lien on the home

If using your second vehicle:

  • An ownership document (such as title or deed) for all of your vehicles
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser or a statement from the dealer indicating the current value of your second vehicle.


Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms

Documents you will need to get your child a Green Card through Adjustment of Status

Documents to submit with your child’s Form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”

If you are applying for a Green Card for your child while they are living in the United States, you must provide the following with their Form I-485, “Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status”:

  1. Proof of their Nationality
  • Their birth certificate from another country or
  • Their passport issued from another country

2. Proof that they are in the U.S. legally

  • Their valid U.S. (non-immigrant) Visa and
  • Their I-94 travel document

3. Form I-693, Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record

You may submit your child’s Form I-693 together with Form I-485 or later, such as by mail when USCIS requests it or in person at your child’s Green Card interview (if they are required to attend an interview).

4. Records of any previous interactions they have had with law enforcement (if applicable)

If your child has ever had a negative interaction with law enforcement in their home country or elsewhere, you must submit proof of all such interactions. This includes things like court, police, and prison records.

5. Records of their previous immigration violations (if applicable)

If your child has ever violated U.S. immigration law, you must submit proof of all violations. This includes any deportation documents and other records of run-ins with immigration officials that your child has had.

6. Passport photos of your child

You will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) of your child with their Form I-485. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-485.

Documents to submit with your child’s Form I-765, "Application for Employment Authorization Document”

If your child wants to work in the United States before they receive their Green Card, they must file Form I-765. Form I-765 requires the following supporting documents:

  1. Proof that they are in the U.S. legally
  • Their I-94 travel records,
  • Their valid U.S. (non-immigrant) Visa, or
  • Their passport issued in another country

2. Proof of your child’s pending Green Card application

  • Their receipt notice (Form I-797C, “Notice of Action”) or
  • Their form I-485 if they are filing concurrently

3. Proof of your child’s previous U.S. Work Authorization or proof of their nationality

You should submit your child’s prior work permit If they have received a US work permit in the past. If your child has never had a U.S. work permit, you should submit the following documents as proof of their nationality:

  • Their Birth certificate and photo ID, or
  • Their visa issued by the consulate of a country other than the United States, or
  • Other national identity document with their photo and/or fingerprint

4. Passport photos of your child

You will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) of your child with their Form I-765. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-765.

Documents to submit with your child’s Form I-131, "Application for Travel Document"

If your child wants to be able to leave the U.S. temporarily while they wait for their Green Card, they must file Form I-765 requires the following supporting documents:

  1. Proof of your child’s identity
  • Their passport (photo page only),
  • Their current work permit, if available, or
  • Their valid government-issued driver’s license (must show name, date of birth, and photo)

2. Proof of your child’s current immigration status

  • Their valid U.S. visa, or
  • Any other document issued by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) showing their present status in the United States.

3. Proof of your child’s pending green card application

  • Receipt notice (Form I-797C, “Notice of Action”) or
  • Their Form I-485 if they are filing concurrently

4. Passport photos of your child

You will need to provide 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) of your child with their Form I-131. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be filing at the same time as Form I-131.

Documents to submit with your child’s Form I-944, "Declaration of Self-Sufficiency" Public Charge form

Most immigrants, including children. must file Form I-944 when they apply for a Green Card while living in the U.S. This is true even if your child isn’t old enough to work. You must provide the following documents with your child’s form I-944.

  1. Proof your child’s household income
  • If your child and their household members had to  file US taxes, you must include their tax returns for the most recent tax year.
  • If your child and their household members lived outside of the U.S. and didn’t have to file US taxes, you must include their foreign tax transcripts for the most recent tax year.
  • If your child and their household members were not required to file their taxes for the last three tax years, you must include either their
  • Form W-2s or
  • Their Social Security Statements
  • If your child and their household members received income not listed on their US or Non-US Tax transcripts, you must include the evidence of their non-taxable income, such as:
  • Unemployment benefits,
  • Child support records, and
  • Pension/retirement benefit checks

2. Proof your child’s household assets (if applicable)

  • Evidence of homes your child or their household members own:
  • Deeds or other evidence of ownership
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • Evidence of any mortgages or loans secured against the home
  • Evidence of other assets your child or their household members own:
  • Proof of ownership for bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, and financial instruments
  • Proof of ownership and valuations for any other easily liquidated assets
  • Account statements covering the prior 12 months for any checking or savings accounts

3. Proof of your child’s household liabilities and debts (if applicable)

If your child or their household members have any debt or other liabilities,  you must provide evidence for each debt or liability. This includes mortgages, car loans, unpaid taxes or child support, or credit cards. You can do so by providing the following:

  • Contracts or loan agreements,
  • Account statements, and
  • Letters from financial institutions or government agencies

If your child or their household members have ever filed for bankruptcy, you must provide their Evidence of bankruptcy resolution, court papers or other documentation showing that any prior bankruptcies have been fully resolved  

4. Proof that your child has good credit

If your child already has a US Credit Score:

  • Include a copy of their free credit report from one of the three nationwide reporting agencies
  • If there is an error in your child’s credit report, you must provide proof that you/they have notified the agency of the error and that is being investigated

If your child does not already have a US Credit Score:

  • Provide documentation from a U.S. credit bureau confirming that no report or credit score is available
  • To prove that your child has good credit, provide evidence that they have been paying their bills consistently. This proof includes things like account ledgers, bills and receipts, or other records.

5. Proof of your child’s ability to pay for medical treatment

If your child has medical insurance, you should provide proof by including the following documents. Your child’s health insurance card is not enough for proof unless it is marked with their policy’s effective and expiration dates

  • A full copy of your child’s health insurance policy, detailing the type of coverage and individuals the policy covers,
  • A letter from an insurance company confirming that your child is enrolled in coverage that provides details about the type of coverage, or
  • A copy of your child’s IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C confirming your child’s health coverage

Additionally, you may provide the following information about your child’s health insurance to strenghten their application:

  • Documentation showing their annual deductible or premium
  • Documentation showing their policy’s expiration or renewal date

If your child uses Affordable Care Act tax credits for their health insurance coverage you must provide:

  • A transcript copy of your child’s IRS Form 8963, Report of Health Insurance Provider Information,
  • A transcript copy of your child’s IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, or
  • A copy of your child’s Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If your child’s health insurance plan has not started yet, you should provide details of their pending coverage. This would include things like a letter from their health insurance company showing that they have enrolled, or have a future enrollment date, for an insurance policy. Make sure that this letter includes the terms, type of coverage, individuals covered, and the policy start date.

If your child has medical conditions that will affect their ability to work, attend school, or provide care for themselves you must include:

  • A letter from  their doctor about your child’s condition, prognosis, and ability to work or study
  • A letter from other medical specialists about your child’s condition
  • Additional evidence that your child has the resources to pay for medical treatment

6. Evidence regarding your child’s use of public benefits (if applicable)

If you are a U.S. Citizen, and your child is eligible for citizenship, their use of public benefits does not matter. You must provide evidence that you are a Citizen, they are your child, and they are eligible for citizenship. You will not need to submit any other evidence your child’s use of public benefits if this is the case.

If your child has ever sought or received any public benefits you should provide a letter or other document from the benefit-granting agency containing your child’s name, the agency’s name, the type of benefit, and the start and end date of the benefit. This applies even if you sought or received these public benefits for your child.

If your child has ever disenrolled from benefits, or withdrawn an application for a public benefit, you must submit evidence documenting the dis-enrollment or withdrawal from the public benefit(s). For example, the a letter from the benefits agency showing that they received your child’s request to dis-enroll or withdraw from benefits. This applies even if you signed your child up for these benefits.

If your child is a member of the US military and has received public benefits, you must provide evidence of their military service from the authorizing official of their executive department.

If you are a member of the US military and your child received public benefits through you, you must submit Form DD-1173, “U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card – Dependent” with your child’s application.

If your child has ever received Medicaid benefits for a reason that doesn’t matter for Public Charge, you must provide the following with their application:

  • A statement showing that their treatment was due to an emergency medical condition
  • Documentation that their Medicaid benefits were funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a school-based service, or
  • A letter from a medical professional verifying that your child was pregnant, for the whole time that they received Medicaid

If your child has an exempt immigration status or has received a Public Charge Waiver, you will need to provide evidence of their exemption or waiver.

  • An I-797 Approval Notice or I-94 Travel Record confirming your child’s exempt immigration status
  • Official documentation showing that your child received a waiver of public charge inadmissibility

7. Evidence regarding fee waivers (if applicable)

If your child has ever received or applied for an immigration filing fee waiver, you must provide any documents or evidence showing that their circumstances have changed since they requested a fee waiver. This includes things like their

  • Pay slips,
  • Employment contracts, or
  • Health records

8. Evidence of your child’s care-taking duties (if applicable)

If your child is unable to work because they are the primary caretaker of a child or an elderly or disabled person, you should provide evidence:

  • That your child is the primary caretaker
  • That the individual your child is caring for lives with your child, such as a shared lease, financial or medical documents showing their address, etc.
  • Of the age of the individual your child is caring for (such as a birth certificate) or of a medical condition this individual has that requires care.

9. Evidence of your child’s education

You must provide evidence of your child’s education from highschool on. This includes as many of the following as possible:

  • Transcripts,
  • Diplomas,
  • Degree certificates, or
  • If no documentation is available, you should attach a letter from the educational institution explaining why it is unavailable

10. Evidence of your child’s occupational skills

If your child has any occupational skills or training, you must provide evidence of it. This includes as many of the following as possible:

  • Training certificates,
  • Professional licenses,
  • Documentation of apprenticeships or other qualifications in skilled trades

11. Evidence of your child’s foreign education or training

If your child has foreign education or training, you must provide a formal evaluation of equivalency comparing foreign educational achievements to a U.S. education or degree

12. Evidence of your child’s English proficiency

You should provide evidence of your child’s language training or proficiency in English and in their native language:

Applying for a Green Card for your child through Adjustment of Status can be complicated. ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your application paperwork for free with our simple online application. Click the button below to get started.

Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms

Documents you will need to get a Green Card for your child through Consular Processing

Documents to submit with your child’s Form DS-260, “Immigrant Visa Application”

If you are applying for a Green Card for your while they are living outside of the United States, you must submit the following to the National Visa Center (NVC) after you file your child’s DS-260, “Immigrant Visa Application.”

  1. Proof of their Nationality
  • Their birth certificate from another country or
  • Their passport issued from another country

2. Proof that they are in the U.S. legally

  • Their valid U.S. (non-immigrant) Visa and
  • Their I-94 travel document

3. Proof of their Immigration Medical Examination and Vaccination Records

You must submit your child’s official vaccination records and proof that they were examined by an approved Panel Physician. You can submit this proof by mail when the NVC requests it or in person at your child’s Green Card interview (if they are required to attend an interview).

4. Records of any previous interactions they have had with law enforcement (if applicable)

If your child has ever had a negative interaction with law enforcement in their home country or elsewhere, you must submit proof of all such interactions. This includes things like court, police, and prison records.

5. Records of their previous immigration violations (if applicable)

If your child has ever violated U.S. immigration law, you must submit proof of all violations. This includes any deportation documents and other records of run-ins with immigration officials that your child has had.

6. Passport photos of your child

You will need to submit 2 passport-style photos (2 inches by 2 inches) of your child to the NVC after you file your child’s DS-260. These are in addition to any passport photos required by other forms you may be sending to the NVC at the same time.

Documents to submit with your child’s Form DS-5540, "Public Charge Questionnaire" (if the immigrant is applying from outside of the U.S.)

Most immigrants, including children. must file Form DS-5540 when they apply for a Green Card while living abroad. This is true even if your child isn’t old enough to work. You must provide the following documents with your child’s form I-944.

  1. Proof your child’s household income
  • If your child and their household members had to  file US taxes, you must include their tax returns for the most recent tax year.
  • If your child and their household members lived outside of the U.S. and didn’t have to file US taxes, you must include their foreign tax transcripts for the most recent tax year.
  • If your child and their household members were not required to file their taxes for the last three tax years, you must include either their
  • Form W-2s or
  • Their Social Security Statements
  • If your child and their household members received income not listed on their US or Non-US Tax transcripts, you must include the evidence of their non-taxable income, such as:
  • Unemployment benefits,
  • Child support records, and
  • Pension/retirement benefit checks

2. Proof your child’s household assets (if applicable)

  • Evidence of homes your child or their household members own:
  • Deeds or other evidence of ownership
  • A recent appraisal by a licensed appraiser
  • Evidence of any mortgages or loans secured against the home
  • Evidence of other assets your child or their household members own:
  • Proof of ownership for bank accounts, stocks, retirement accounts, and financial instruments
  • Proof of ownership and valuations for any other easily liquidated assets
  • Account statements covering the prior 12 months for any checking or savings accounts

3. Proof of your child’s household liabilities and debts (if applicable)

If your child or their household members have any debt or other liabilities,  you must provide evidence for each debt or liability. This includes mortgages, car loans, unpaid taxes or child support, or credit cards. You can do so by providing the following:

  • Contracts or loan agreements,
  • Account statements, and
  • Letters from financial institutions or government agencies

If your child or their household members have ever filed for bankruptcy, you must provide their Evidence of bankruptcy resolution, court papers or other documentation showing that any prior bankruptcies have been fully resolved  

4. Proof that your child has good credit

If your child already has a US Credit Score:

  • Include a copy of their free credit report from one of the three nationwide reporting agencies
  • If there is an error in your child’s credit report, you must provide proof that you/they have notified the agency of the error and that is being investigated

If your child does not already have a US Credit Score:

  • Provide documentation from a U.S. credit bureau confirming that no report or credit score is available
  • To prove that your child has good credit, provide evidence that they have been paying their bills consistently. This proof includes things like account ledgers, bills and receipts, or other records.

5. Proof of your child’s ability to pay for medical treatment

If your child has medical insurance, you should provide proof by including the following documents. Your child’s health insurance card is not enough for proof unless it is marked with their policy’s effective and expiration dates

  • A full copy of your child’s health insurance policy, detailing the type of coverage and individuals the policy covers,
  • A letter from an insurance company confirming that your child is enrolled in coverage that provides details about the type of coverage, or
  • A copy of your child’s IRS Form 1095-B or 1095-C confirming your child’s health coverage

Additionally, you may provide the following information about your child’s health insurance to strenghten their application:

  • Documentation showing their annual deductible or premium
  • Documentation showing their policy’s expiration or renewal date

If your child uses Affordable Care Act tax credits for their health insurance coverage you must provide:

  • A transcript copy of your child’s IRS Form 8963, Report of Health Insurance Provider Information,
  • A transcript copy of your child’s IRS Form 8962, Premium Tax Credit, or
  • A copy of your child’s Form 1095-A, Health Insurance Marketplace Statement

If your child’s health insurance plan has not started yet, you should provide details of their pending coverage. This would include things like a letter from their health insurance company showing that they have enrolled, or have a future enrollment date, for an insurance policy. Make sure that this letter includes the terms, type of coverage, individuals covered, and the policy start date.

If your child has medical conditions that will affect their ability to work, attend school, or provide care for themselves you must include:

  • A letter from  their doctor about your child’s condition, prognosis, and ability to work or study
  • A letter from other medical specialists about your child’s condition
  • Additional evidence that your child has the resources to pay for medical treatment

6. Evidence regarding your child’s use of public benefits (if applicable)

If you are a U.S. Citizen, and your child is eligible for citizenship, their use of public benefits does not matter. You must provide evidence that you are a Citizen, they are your child, and they are eligible for citizenship. You will not need to submit any other evidence your child’s use of public benefits if this is the case.

If your child has ever sought or received any public benefits you should provide a letter or other document from the benefit-granting agency containing your child’s name, the agency’s name, the type of benefit, and the start and end date of the benefit. This applies even if you sought or received these public benefits for your child.

If your child has ever disenrolled from benefits, or withdrawn an application for a public benefit, you must submit evidence documenting the dis-enrollment or withdrawal from the public benefit(s). For example, the a letter from the benefits agency showing that they received your child’s request to dis-enroll or withdraw from benefits. This applies even if you signed your child up for these benefits.

If your child is a member of the US military and has received public benefits, you must provide evidence of their military service from the authorizing official of their executive department.

If you are a member of the US military and your child received public benefits through you, you must submit Form DD-1173, “U.S. Uniformed Services Identification and Privilege Card – Dependent” with your child’s application.

If your child has ever received Medicaid benefits for a reason that doesn’t matter for Public Charge, you must provide the following with their application:

  • A statement showing that their treatment was due to an emergency medical condition
  • Documentation that their Medicaid benefits were funded through the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) or a school-based service, or
  • A letter from a medical professional verifying that your child was pregnant, for the whole time that they received Medicaid

If your child has an exempt immigration status or has received a Public Charge Waiver, you will need to provide evidence of their exemption or waiver.

  • An I-797 Approval Notice or I-94 Travel Record confirming your child’s exempt immigration status
  • Official documentation showing that your child received a waiver of public charge inadmissibility

7. Evidence regarding fee waivers (if applicable)

If your child has ever received or applied for an immigration filing fee waiver, you must provide any documents or evidence showing that their circumstances have changed since they requested a fee waiver. This includes things like their

  • Pay slips,
  • Employment contracts, or
  • Health records

8. Evidence of your child’s care-taking duties (if applicable)

If your child is unable to work because they are the primary caretaker of a child or an elderly or disabled person, you should provide evidence:

  • That your child is the primary caretaker
  • That the individual your child is caring for lives with your child, such as a shared lease, financial or medical documents showing their address, etc.
  • Of the age of the individual your child is caring for (such as a birth certificate) or of a medical condition this individual has that requires care.

9. Evidence of your child’s education

You must provide evidence of your child’s education from highschool on. This includes as many of the following as possible:

  • Transcripts,
  • Diplomas,
  • Degree certificates, or
  • If no documentation is available, you should attach a letter from the educational institution explaining why it is unavailable

10. Evidence of your child’s occupational skills

If your child has any occupational skills or training, you must provide evidence of it. This includes as many of the following as possible:

  • Training certificates,
  • Professional licenses,
  • Documentation of apprenticeships or other qualifications in skilled trades

11. Evidence of your child’s foreign education or training

If your child has foreign education or training, you must provide a formal evaluation of equivalency comparing foreign educational achievements to a U.S. education or degree

12. Evidence of your child’s English proficiency

You should provide evidence of your child’s language training or proficiency in English and in their native language:

Applying for a Green Card for your child through Consular Processing can be complicated. ImmigrationHelp.org can help you prepare your application paperwork for free with our simple online application. Click the button below to get started.

Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms
Prepare Your Child's Green Card Forms

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