The Stepparent - Stepchild Relationship: Does Your Stepchild Qualify as Beneficiary of Your EB-5 Petition?

Child playing in fieldYour child’s age is of great importance when it comes to immigration law. Likewise, your stepchild’s age may dictate whether he or she can qualify as your beneficiary. The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) provides the definition of a “child” for immigration purposes. This definition should be used as a guideline for individuals who wish to immigrate to the United States with their children. It includes descriptions of who will be recognized as a child under U.S. immigration law, as well as age requirements and the necessary relationships between parent and child.

In most cases, a stepchild can be the beneficiary of a stepparent’s EB-5 petition, even without the stepparent having to legally adopt the stepchild. However, the INA definition of a child does require that the stepparent – stepchild relationship be created before a stepchild turns 18 years of age. In other words, the stepparent and the biological parent of the stepchild must marry before the stepchild’s 18th birthday. If the stepparent – stepchild relationship is created before age 18, there is no need for the stepparent to adopt the child, or for the natural parent to be the petitioner.

If you are considering the EB-5 investor visa program and wish to list your stepchild as a beneficiary, it is important to keep the age requirement in mind.  If you are unable to file a petition on behalf of your stepchild, the child’s biological parent may still be able to. 

At Jatoi & de Kirby, A.P.C., we know how important it is for you and your family to fully understand the requirements of the EB-5 investor visa program. Our California based attorneys can advise you on your stepchild’s eligibility and other EB-5 related questions.  Contact us for more information.