If a green card holder gives birth to a child while abroad, what is the child’s immigrant status?

In accordance with section 8 C.F.R. § 211.1(a)(1): If a child is born to a U.S. green card holder while abroad, the child will not need a visa to immigrate to the United States and a record of lawful permanent residence will be created for the child provided the following two requirements are satisfied: (i) the child must be under two years of age upon admission to the United States and (ii) to quote from the Code of Federal Regulations, “either accompanying parent is applying for readmission upon first return after the birth of the child.”

Upon admission, the following documents should be presented on behalf of the child: a valid passport or travel document, the child’s birth certificate listing both the child’s mother and father, and proof of the parent’s lawful permanent resident status which can be presented in the form of a green card or valid reentry permit.

If either of these two conditions are not met, the parent will need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, in order to obtain a green card for their child. On the other hand, if the child was born in the United States, they would be granted U.S. citizenship at birth.

Filing Form I-130

As a green card holder, the parent may file Form I-130 for their unmarried children under the age of 21.

The parent must prove that they are a lawful permanent resident or U.S. citizen. In addition, they must provide evidence of the familial relationship between themselves and the beneficiary—in this case, the child born abroad.

To prove lawful permanent resident status, the parent must append a copy of the front and back of their Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) to their I-130 petition. If the parent has not received their card yet, they may submit copies of their passport biographic page and the page indicating admission as a lawful permanent resident, or any other forms of evidence issued by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If the green card holder is the mother of the child born abroad, she must also attach a copy of the child’s birth certificate showing her name and the child’s name.