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Immigration Issues/unlegitimated son / brother question


My husband had a child out of wedlock when he was in high school. We immigrated here to the US 12 years ago. His son is now 20 and is interested in coming here to the US. We have had contact and a relationship over the phone with him.... he visits his grandparents often. The mother never put a paternal name on the birth certificate and we were wondering how to legitimize him? What is our best course of action to bring him out here? He turns 21 in August so we seem to be on a timeline according to what I can find on the USCIS website. We want to follow the law and allow his son to come live here. Do we need a paternity test? What forms do we need to apply with? What do we do?

Secondly and not as important.. my brother and his wife would like to split their time 6 months US and 6 months Germany... they are both german citizens and own a condo here in the US. What are their options? Will the US government have an issue with this? They work from home so can work from anywhere in the world.

Thank-you for your time

Hi Lauren,

Regarding your husband's 20 year old child, I recommend first looking into legitimization (putting his name on the birth certificate or get a court decree of paternity).  I am not sure how this is done in the child's home country as I am not licensed to practice law there.  You may want to ask lawyers in that country about how to legitimize this child.

A paternity test will also be very helpful.  US government will also be asking for evidence that your husband supported the child or lived with the child, so any evidence regarding that issue would be very helpful as well.

The form you would submit is Form I-130.  The instruction is available online at

Citation to I-130 instruction: If the child was not legitimated before reaching 18 years old, you must file your petition with copies of evidence that a bona fide parent-child relationship existed between the father and the child before the child reached 21 years.  This may include evidence that the father lived with the child, supported him or her, or otherwise showed continuing parental interest in the child's welfare.

Regarding your brother and his wife.  I don't think there is an issue to split their time between here and Germany.  However, to stay in the US for more than 90 days, they do need a B1/B2 Visa, which they must obtain from the US Embassy by filing the application form online.

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Jack Sung


Can answer: Immigration and visa issues Can't answer: Everything else


Been a practicing immigration attorney for 4 years.

Taiwanese American Lawyers Association. American Immigration Lawyers Association. Los Angeles County Bar Association

Southwestern International Law Journal

J.D. from Southwestern Univ. School of Law in 2007. Licensed attorney in California

Awards and Honors
LACBA 2011 Outstanding Public Service Award

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