Mon | Sep 26, 2022

Immigration Corner | When can my baby join me?

Published:Tuesday | August 16, 2022 | 12:07 AM
Dahlia Walker Huntington
Dahlia Walker Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I am 20 years old and I have a 10-month-0ld baby. My father filed for me and I migrated in January, leaving my child with my mother.

How long will it take for me to get my baby to come to America? I know I can start filing for him on my green card when I turn 21 next year, but how long will it take?

Regarding my mother, what can I do to help her to come to the United States?

Thank you for your response.


Dear BM,

I do not quite understand your question, but I think you have a time-sensitive issue and should consult with an immigration attorney.

Generally, when a parent files for their son/daughter (beneficiary) and there is a grandchild (derivative beneficiary), that child can migrate with the parent. I do not know if you explored your child being your derivative, and I do not know if you became pregnant after the petition was filed. If your petition was filed before your pregnancy, you could have added your child to your filing right up to before you left Jamaica.

Now that you are in the United States without your child, you should explore ‘Follow to Join’. This is where an eligible beneficiary can follow the primary beneficiary to the United States without the need for a new petition for alien relative being filed. The eligible beneficiary would ‘ride’ on the same petition that allowed the primary beneficiary to migrate. This is not applicable in all categories, but it is a distinct possibility in your scenario.

As it pertains to your mother, a person has to be a United States citizen in order to petition for their parent to migrate to America. You will be eligible to file for your US citizenship four years and nine months after you entered the US – providing you meet all the other requirements.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq, is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and international law in Florida. She is a diversity and inclusion consultant, mediator, and former special magistrate and hearing officer in Broward County, Florida.