Making The American Dream Attainable

If I marry a foreign single parent, can they bring the kids?

On Behalf of | Mar 27, 2024 | Family Based Visas, Immigration |

As a United States citizen contemplating marriage to a single parent from another country, you may wonder about the process of bringing their children to the U.S. The immigration laws governing this scenario are intricate, but understanding the steps can help you navigate the process successfully.

Legal requirements

To bring your spouse’s children to the United States, you must have married before the children turned 18. This establishes a stepparent relationship recognized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Petitioning process

Initiate the process by filing Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) for each stepchild. This form serves to establish the familial relationship between you, the United States citizen, and the foreign-born child.

Documentation needed

Support your petition with essential documents, including the child’s birth certificate, your marriage certificate to their parent and any necessary evidence of legal name changes or prior marriages. After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, your stepchildren can apply for an immigrant visa. This involves completing a visa application, undergoing a medical examination and attending a visa interview at a United States embassy or consulate.

Financial support

Under federal law, you will need prove that your stepchildren will not be a burden to the United States and that you will financially support them. This is done by filing an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864).

After approval

Upon visa approval, your stepchildren can enter the United States and receive Green Cards, granting them lawful permanent residency. If your stepchildren desire United States citizenship, they may be eligible to apply for naturalization after meeting residency requirements.


Navigating the process of bringing non-citizen stepchildren to the United States involves adherence to detailed legal procedures. For comprehensive guidance and the latest USCIS guidelines on family-based immigration, consult official resources to address any specific concerns and updates in immigration laws.