I am an American citizen born and raised, here in Washington with my daughter from the Philippines. We arrived here in Oct 2014, She is here in a B-1/B-2 visa. The mother and I were not married and the mother had passed away. I had to domestically adopt her in the Philippines to make her LEGITIMATE under Philippine law and so I could get her a Philippine Passport. She is 5 yrs old and I had received from the US Embassy an Emergency Medical Visa because she is Autistic and was in need of immediate therapy unavailable in the Philippines. Now that we are here and she is getting the treatment and therapy she needs I need to get her a Green Card so she can become a Citizen. What do I do?
If your child has a B, then I can assume she has not acquired US citizenship. If she is your biological daughter and you are a US citizen, she doesn't automatically acquire citizenship as the other attorney said - you must register the birth abroad and receive a positive consular determination. However, if she obtained a B, then I assume the consulate was presented with the situation and determined (correctly or incorrectly) that she is NOT a US citizen. I also assume during this B (which is one and the same as the "emergency medical visa" you describe) interview there was some conversation regarding the fact that you're a citizen, yet the visa was granted.
You can file an I-130 on her behalf as her father. You can subsequently have her do consular processing in the Philippines. You can also just file an I-485 along with the I-130 and request an adjustment of status. However, there may be slight trouble since the B visa has an assumption that she intends to leave (or you intend to take her out of the US at the end). Since I understand the autism isn't "curable" and her treatment is probably less-than-temporary in nature, my impression is that the consular officer in the Philippines was just helping you out by getting you this B to get your daughter in the US ASAP - with the implication that you should file an I-485.
I would check in with a lawyer before initiating the next step - especially since you'll have to deal with the adoption papers.
This response is general in nature and cannot be construed as legal advice, given that not enough facts are known. Any comments offered on Avvo are of a general nature only, and are not meant to create an attorney-client relationship. You are encouraged to seek independent and private counseling for a complete review of your case
If you're her biological father, I am confused as to the issue- she is a citizen by default since you are.
However, if this is not the reality, you need to get an immigration attorney who can guide you through the (extremely) choppy waters of green cards et al.
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I am aware of the issues that arise in the Philippines with unlegitimated births and births out of wedlock. The first step is to do what you did and take whatever steps you can in the Philippines and be recognized as the biological parent of your daughter. Now that is taken care of, go to a lawyer in your area, show them the paperwork, and they can determine if you can file for an I-130 for her and go through the processing of the application in the United States.
William Quirk, Esq. Meehan & Quirk, LLC. The answers to questions provided by Mr. Quirk are for general purposes only and do not establish an attorney-client relationship. This information is for informational purposes only and does not form any relationship between the individual asking the question and the attorney. You should investigate and consider all possible outcomes with a skilled individual before making a final decision.
Contact a qualified attorney right away. She may have been a US citizen from birth and needs a certificate of citizenship not a green card! It is an important distinction, and the rules are very technical involving a lot of different dates of what happened when, so you need to speak privately with an attorney who is experienced with such cases.
This reply is intended only as general information and does not constitute legal advice in any particular case. This reply does not create an attorney/client relationship.
Your daughter may already be a US citizen. It is a good thing you have legitimized her! Go see an immigration attorney to evaluate your situation and guide you through the process, so you can obtain a certificate of citizenship for her. With that certificate, you will be able to apply for her US passport. Best of luck to you and your daughter!
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