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Who is eligible to petition for asylum on behalf of a child?

According to the USCIS, if you are a refugee or have asylee status, you can petition for your child’s asylee status. To begin the process, there are two main questions to ask yourself.

Here are those two questions.

What is your relationship to the child?

To apply for asylum on behalf of a child, you must be the child’s parent. All parents must fill out the Form I-730, or the Refugee/Asylee Relative Petition. Those who may qualify include:

  • Biological parents
  • Adoptive parents
  • Stepparents

If you are the biological parent, you must include the child’s birth certificate, a clear photograph and proof of your refugee status. For mothers and fathers, the process is similar. The major difference for fathers is they must have a copy of the marriage certificate, divorce decree and any proof that the relationship between the father and mother dissolved. Also, they need proof of legitimacy or relationship between father and child.

Adoptive parents must have a certified copy of the adoption decree. They also must show that the child lived with them for at least two years. Stepparents must show that they have a legal marriage with the child’s parent. They must include divorce documents from their previous marriages and their spouse’s previous marriages.

How long have you been in the United States?

The general rule for applying for asylum or refugee status for a child is that you must have received asylum status within the last two years. Your child’s age at the time of your asylum status matters too. When you applied for asylum, the child must have been under 21 and unmarried. Sometimes, you can have the period extended if there is a humanitarian need.