Q: I became a USA citizen last year. I have a 4 year old son in Costa Rica I want to petition to bring here with me.
My 4 year old son currently lives with his mom in Costa Rica but I would like to bring him here with me if possible, how can I get him residency or citizenship.
A: To bring your son to the US you need to start by filing a Petition for Alien Relative with USCIS. Once this petition is approved you will have to upload additional forms and documents to National Visa Center and then your son will have an interview in the US Embassy where he resides. There are fees to be paid at each step. This is a not an easy process and having an experienced attorney's assistance is highly recommended! If you do not have sufficient funds to hire an attorney to help with the entire process, at least do a consultation with an attorney so that you understand the process and can make sure there are no issues that you may not be aware of. Some attorneys offer free consultations but paying for one is worth it as it may prevent you from wasting time and/or money. You can find an experienced immigration attorney on Justia.com, Avvo.com or AILA.org. Best wishes!
There is a provision where possibility your child could already be a citizen so you should speak with a lawyer urgently to find out. Since you became a citizen and he is still under 18, the lawyer would look at things like if you are married to his mother, have legal custody and so on.
If that provision is unavailable for some reason, you would file a petition called the I 130 first. You submit with proof that you are his parent. When it is approved there are several other documents to complete. When that is approved and finished there is a process at the embassy in Costa Rica and then he gets the approval to come to the USA. He gets his residency when he arrives and after 5 years he gets his citizenship.
As a U.S. citizen, you can file the FORM I-130 on behalf of your child who resides in Costa Rica. Upon approval of the petition by USCIS then the case will be routed to the National Visa Center and ultimately to the U.S. consulate in San Jose. After the immigrant visa is issued to your son and he enters the U.S. then you can request a U.S. passport for your son based on the Child Citizenship Act of 2000.
You should visit with an experienced and qualified immigration attorney to assist you with this matter.
Good luck to you.
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