Memphis immigration lawyer Ari Sauer provides news and information on US immigration law.
Question: My wife and I are U.S. Permanent Residents. I have been spending a lot of time outside the U.S. due to work. My wife and I recently had a baby girl while outside the U.S. What is the baby’s status? Is she a Permanent Resident like us, or do we have to file a petition for her to become a Permanent Resident?
Answer: This is a important question, because depending on whether or not this is handled correctly, this could be a very simple process, or it could have tragic results.
There is a little-known rule in the immigration regulations that says that where a Permanent Resident woman gives birth abroad, the child is eligible to be admitted to the U.S. as a Permanent Resident, but only if the mother is 1) returning to the U.S. as a Permanent Resident and 2) brings the child with her on her first trip back to the U.S. after the child is born and 3) this trip is before the child’s 2nd birthday.
Unfortunately many Permanent Residents do not know this rule and they either take a trip back to the U.S. without the child or they wait until after the child’s 2nd birthday to bring the child to the U.S. Where this happens, the child is not eligible to enter the U.S. as a permanent resident under this rule, and the parent must file a petition for the child to enter the U.S. as a Permanent Resident. This can result in hardship for the family, as it can take many years for a visa to become available for a petition for the child of a Permanent Resident.