Family Members Defined

Child Defined

[INA §101(b)(1), 8 USC §1101(b)(1)]

A “child” is an unmarried person under 21 years of age who is a:
– Child born in wedlock.
– Stepchild (wedlock or not) so long as step relationship created while under 18 years of age.
– Legally legitimated child before 18 if in custody of father at time of legitimation.
– Child born out of wedlock (but in case of father only if bona fide parent-child relationship exists).
– Adopted children under 16 and having 2 years custody and residence with adoptive parents. If parents have previously adopted a sibling, then subsequent adoption may be under 18.
– Certain orphans [INA §101(b)(1)(F), 8 USC §1101(b)(1)(F)]

Parent Defined

[INA §101(b)(2), 8 USC §1101(b)(2) ]

1. Parent, mother or father relationship established by definition of child.

2. Only USC children 21 years of age or older may petition for parent.

3. Once parent-child criteria has been met, advanced age of child is no longer relevant.

Sibling Defined

Siblings can only petition for one another if they meet the definition of child from at least one parent. Half-siblings may petition for one another. Adoptees cannot petition for siblings of their birth family.