How can a citizen ask an adult child?

In my Consulta Migratoria® column this week I answer a reader's question.

Each case is different and the answers vary depending on each person's immigration history.

Here I provide general answers to your questions. Please consult with an immigration attorney to receive personalized legal advice before starting any procedure.

This is the column:

I recently became a U.S. citizen and wish to petition for an adult son I have in Mexico. My son is from a previous marriage and is single. He also has a 4 year old daughter. What documents do I need to petition for my son and granddaughter? How long does it take? -Francisco L.

Francisco, as a U.S. citizen you can petition for your children who are unmarried or married. If your children have spouses or unmarried children under the age of 21, they may also benefit from the family petition you file on behalf of your children.

To immigrate your unmarried child living in Mexico, you will have to meet several requirements. These include proving that you are a U.S. citizen, that you are the father of your child, and that you are able to support your child.

To start the procedure, you must present the Form I-130, Petition for Alien RelativeYou will need to file Form I-130 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and submit several supporting documents, including evidence of your U.S. citizenship and your child's birth certificate. It is very important that you also list your granddaughter's name, date and place of birth on the Form I-130.

If USCIS approves the family petition you are filing on behalf of your child, the case will be assigned the F1 family category and sent to the U.S. Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. The NVC will continue to process your child's case until an immigrant visa becomes available for your child's case.

Unfortunately, your child will have to wait approximately 20 years to be able to immigrate to the U.S. According to the Department of State's December 2014 Visa Bulletin, for individuals from Mexico they are currently processing F1 family category cases that were filed with USCIS prior to August 15, 1994.

I recommend that your son and granddaughter be on their best behavior while waiting for an immigrant visa. This includes not violating U.S. immigration laws.

Please consult with an immigration attorney or federally accredited representative before beginning any immigration proceedings.

For more information and immigration tips, read my blog

Send your questions to Include detailed information about your situation to better answer your questions.

Nelson A. Castillo, Esq. is an immigration attorney and author of La Tarjeta Verde: Cómo Obtener la Residencia Permanente en los Estados Unidos (Green Card: How to Obtain Permanent Residence in the United States). He is a past president of the Hispanic National Bar Association and current president of the Los Angeles Westlake South Neighborhood Council. To contact Mr. Castillo's office, please call (213) 537-VISA (8472).

The purpose of this column is to provide general information. There can be no guarantee or prediction as to what will be the outcome of the information presented by Dr. Nelson A. Castillo. The information should not be taken as legal advice for any individual, case or situation. Consult with an immigration attorney for personalized legal advice before beginning any immigration proceedings.