When you’re a green card holder (permanent resident) in the U.S., you can petition for your spouse and unmarried children to also get green cards. An “anchor baby,” or U.S.-born citizen child, can be helpful when it comes time to file this green card application because:
If your green card is approved (based on having an immediate relative), there’s no need to count his/her age against your quota; and
In some cases of expedited processing, he or she can even serve as proof that your green-card application will not be delayed – proof that’s required of every applicant.
And aside from applying for their green cards along with yours, anchor babies are good for their green card “stock:”
Green cards for unmarried children over 21 years of age only last 10 years; and
Green cards for spouses usually expire after just three years.
This means that green-card holders with anchor babies must file separate green-card renewal applications every decade, starting at age 21, and every three years, respectively. That’s a lot more work than having green cards issued directly to them as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
The immigration system gives green card applicants an incentive to have kids in the U.S., or as they might say here in Boston, “anchor babies.” The green card applicant gets counted under a different quota (the one for their parents), and green card renewal applications are made easier.
Can Anchor Babies Help With My Green Card Application?
YES! Anchor babies are very useful green card tools. Many green card holders forget that they can help with green card renewal. If you have an anchor baby, its age doesn’t matter because it’s not counted against your green card quota. Furthermore, the parents of your anchor baby don’t count towards your green card quota either. So if you have 3 kids, their immediate relatives (parents) are under a different green card quota to yours which means that they don’t take away green cards from you or delay the process of getting one yourself.
So What Is All This Talk About Green Cards?
A green card is offered to immigrants who want to come and live permanently in the U.S., provides permanent resident status, and allows you to live, work and travel in the U.S. with few limitations.
Will Filing Green Cards for My Anchor Baby Help Expedite Green Card Processing?
It can if the green card applicant is using a “conventional” process (not consular processing) and has no other grounds of inadmissibility.
If your green-card renewal application is processed by USCIS’s Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), it will be approved based on the fact that filing green cards follow family unity requirements of U.S. immigration law – even without an anchor baby.
But if USCIS processes your green card application through its National Benefits Center, chances are more likely that approval will be denied because this center gives greater weight to each green card applicant’s age when calculating their green-card quotas.
If your green-card renewal application is processed through the State Department, you don’t need anchor babies to help with green card renewal because State exclusively processes green-card renewals filed by:
- Foreigners in the U.S.; and
- Green card holders living overseas (and not in Canada or Mexico).
But keep in mind that approval of green cards for parents usually require a long wait – sometimes more than 5 years – and the State does not expedite them even if they’re being filed by the U.S.-citizens who have died or become disabled while waiting.
In contrast, USCIS gives priority processing to green cards for spouses and children of green card holders.
How Does Having an Anchor Baby Make Green Card Renewal Easier?
The green card renewal process is often complicated, difficult and lengthy. It takes a long time to get green cards issued for parents; it doesn’t help that the green-card quotas (the numerical limitations on such green cards) are not very high.
The immigration system tries to eliminate this inconvenience by providing green-card targets who have anchor babies with an easier green-card renewal process.
So Having an Anchor Baby Can Make Green-Card Renewals Easier?
Yes, and there’s more… Having U.S.-born children might also make your green card renewal smoother: If you turn in your green-card renewal application when your green card expires, U.S.-citizen children under age 21 don’t count against the green-card quota for their parents.
That is, green cards issued to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens never have green-card quotas applied against them.
This means not having green-card renewal applications delayed or denied due to exceeding green card quotas when you turn in your green-card renewal application without delay when your green card expires (which would otherwise happen because green cards for parents are subject to a green-card quota).
Anchor Babies Might Make Green Card Renewals Smoother?
Yes, and there’s one more thing… “expedited processing.” Some applicants go a step beyond just filing their green-card renewals right away: They go all the way and get expedited processing from the USCIS.
This works for green-card holders with a lot of U.S.-citizen children – but not just any U.S.-citizen children: It only works if those children are anchor babies.
So Green Card Renewal Applications Have to Be Filed Without Delay When Green Cards Expire?
Yes, and green-card applicants can get expedited processing from the USCIS if they have anchor babies?
Right, so having an anchor baby can make green card renewals smoother by getting counted under a different quota and reducing the chances of green card quotas being exceeded when filing green-card renewal applications right away; it makes green-card renewal easier by eliminating age limits (if applying before green cards expire) and providing proof that green-card renewal applications will not be delayed; and green card renewals can even get expedited processing from the USCIS if they have anchor babies.
“Anchor babies” sounds like a lot of work just to get green cards – are you sure it’s worth it?
Yes, but only for green-card holders who want to stay in the U.S., because green cards confer legal permanent residency which leads to U.S. citizenship after 5 years (3 if married to a U.S. citizen).
So this is all about staying in the U.S., getting welfare and other benefits reserved for citizens and non-citizens alike, voting in elections, etc.; that’s why green cards confer “permanent residency.”
For more information, you may ask or consult with Houston immigration lawyers.