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Can I sponsor my Filipino step son for a visa to the USA?

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In June I married a Filipino girl who already had a 4yo son. We are all living together in the Philippines. He has his deceased fathers last name. Can I get him a visa when I file to get my wife a visa? If so, do I need to file a seperate I130 for him? 



I came across this on the USCIS.gov website: "A stepchild is ineligible for citizenship or naturalization through the U.S. citizen stepparent, unless the stepchild is adopted and the adoption meets certain requirements."


I don't understand what this means. Does this mean I must adopt my stepson before he can come to the USA? I plan on adopting him eventually but it's a long and expensive process. I was hoping to do it when we were all back in the USA.

Edited by TVC

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Your post from USCIS is about citizenship not about petitioning. See the last bullet below from USCIS. You can petition for him along with your wife, two separate petitions. Of course you can’t give him a visa but i see your point.


For immigration purposes, a child can be any of the following:

  • A genetic child born in wedlock
  • A genetic child born out of wedlock:
    • If the mother is petitioning, no legitimation is required.
    • If the father is petitioning, legitimation is required in accordance with the laws of the father or child’s place of residence.
    • If the father is petitioning and the relationship is not legitimated under applicable laws, a bona fide parent-child relationship must be shown to have existed prior to the child’s 21st birthday and while the child was unmarried.
    • A child born through Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) to a non-genetic gestational mother who is recognized under the law of the relevant jurisdiction as the child’s legal parent at the time of the child’s birth.
  • A step-child, as long as the marriage creating the step-relationship occurred before the child turned 18
Edited by arken

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Like @arken said, as long as you marry the child's mother before the child turns 18, you establish a stepparent - stepchild relationship for immigration purposes. Then you can file a separate I-130 for each of them. They'll both receive immigrant visas, if everything goes well.

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54 minutes ago, EM_Vandaveer said:

BTW he'll become a USC when his mother does (about 5-6 years from now, if everything goes well) even if you don't adopt him.

Correct.  Context is King here.  Immigration through a CR2 or IR2 visa is very different from becoming a Citizen.  Since you live in the Philippines, you can file directly with the USCIS Field Office associated with the Embassy in Manila, for process of only a few months.  IF and/or WHEN your wife becomes eligible to Naturalize and if she chooses to do so before her child is 18, the child becomes a citizen based on his natural parent, not his step parent.

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