At what point in the EB-5 process may a dependent child marry, and will the child’s spouse become a derivative beneficiary?
If the dependent child of an EB-5 investor marries before being granted conditional permanent resident status, the dependent child will no longer be considered an eligible derivative beneficiary. In accordance with the regulations of the EB-5 program, for the dependent child of an EB-5 investor to be claimed as a derivative, the child must be unmarried and under the age of 21 at the time Form I-526 is filed. By marrying before a green card is issued, the dependent child would disqualify themselves from accompanying the primary EB-5 investor’s immigration petition.
Once the EB-5 investor has successfully completed adjustment of status or consular processing and been issued a U.S. green card, the dependent child will be free to marry. However, the child’s spouse will not be considered a derivative beneficiary of the principal EB-5 investor. If the child’s spouse wishes to pursue immigration, they would likely need to file for a family-based green card, such as an F2A spousal petition.
Eligible Dependents of the EB-5 Program
For immigration purposes, the definition of a “child” is an individual who is unmarried and under the age of 21. This definition is applicable to the EB-5 program in determining the eligibility of derivative children. Thus, the earliest point during the EB-5 process at which a derivative child could marry would be after they become a lawful permanent resident.
While the dependent child’s spouse will not be eligible to become a derivative beneficiary, they may pursue a green card based on a family preference category—specifically, the second preference (F2A), which includes the spouses and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents.
As a lawful permanent resident, the dependent child is entitled to petition for their spouse’s immigration by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The dependent child must prove their own lawful permanent residence by appending a copy of their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551). They must also provide documentation evidencing the existing family relationship between themselves and their spouse.