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I am USA green card holder. I am married to an Indian citizen (and I am also an Indian citizen). My wife resides in India and I have started her green card process few years ago. We are nearly at the final stages. We are awaiting an interview at US embassy in India, which is currently closed due to covid pandemic. My wife is currently pregnant. It is likely that baby will be born in India because she won't be able to travel to USA before the baby's delivery. What are my options to bring my child to USA?

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    Did you petition your wife (i.e. you filed I-130 for her) to immigrate as the spouse of a permanent resident? Or is she immigrating as your derivative beneficiary? – user102008 May 15 at 16:56
  • I've worded this in a "long winded" manner so that it says what I intend to convey. A shorter version is liable to be ambiguous :-) : || As a general comment and not specific to this case: It is possible, but not certain, that when delays are caused by COVID-19 related restrictions, then special conditions may be applied. This is occurring in some areas and not others. While it seems likely that US immigration may be inflexible in this regard it may be worth exploring whether flexibility on their part is possible due to changes caused by COVID-19 restrictions. – Russell McMahon May 16 at 0:03
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If your child is born after your wife's immigrant visa is issued, your child can travel to the US together with your wife when she enters with her immigrant visa, and your child can enter the US as an immigrant without needing an immigrant visa. See 9 FAM 201.2-3(3)(a)(i):

(a) The child born after the issuance of a visa to a parent, or [...], is not required to have a visa if the child is:

(i) Born subsequent to issuance of an IV to the accompanying parent within the validity of the parent’s immigrant visa; or

and the CBP carrier information guide, page 5 (12 in PDF):

Child born abroad to an accompanying parent after issuance of an immigrant visa to the parent but before the parent’s initial admission as an immigrant may be boarded as long as the child has a passport or is listed in a parent’s passport with a birth certificate.

The child will be admitted as a US permanent resident (green card holder). Technically, all that is needed to prove that the child can travel to the US is the birth certificate showing the parent-child relationship to your wife. However, airline staff often do not know this rule and will not board them without a more concrete document for entering the US. In this case, they can get a transportation letter from the US consulate, which will say that the child can be transported to the US without liability to the carrier. You do not need to file I-131A, and do not need to pay a fee, to obtain this transportation letter. See the I-131A page, under "Special Instructions":

If you have a child who was born outside the United States and is coming to the U.S. for the first time

You may need to request carrier documentation if:

  • You are an LPR or have an immigrant visa,
  • Your child is under 2 years old, and
  • Your child is traveling with you to come to the United States for the first time.

We recommend checking with your airline or transportation carrier first to ensure they will board your child in these circumstances without carrier documentation. If the airline or transportation carrier refuses to board your child without carrier documentation, we can issue a boarding letter. In this situation, you do not need to file Form I-131A or pay a fee for this service.

If your child is born before your wife's immigrant visa is issued, your child will need to get his/her own immigrant visa. Your child can be added as a derivative beneficiary to your wife's case. I am assuming that you are petitioning your wife (you filed I-130 for her) to immigrate as a spouse of a permanent resident (in the F2A category). Your wife's child who was born before she immigrates can immigrate as her derivative beneficiary, and the child will receive a separate immigrant visa, without you needing to file another I-130 for the child. If it's late in the process, adding a new visa application for the child may mean that your wife will have to wait longer before she can come, although it may be possible to ask the consulate to expedite it in this situation.

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    "airline staff often do not know this rule and will not board them without a more concrete document for entering the US": the rule is in TIMATIC, so if someone in this circumstance is having trouble trying to board, they should firmly but politely insist that the agent at the check-in desk look in TIMATIC for the text "Visa required, except for minors seeking residency; if minor is under 2 years of age, and 1- Minor is born to the accompanying parent after issuance of an immigrant visa to the parent but prior to the parent's initial entry to the USA on that immigrant visa...." – phoog May 15 at 18:23
  • It might also be worth mentioning that a child who is exempt from the requirement to hold an immigrant visa would probably need an airport transit visa to fly through Germany, the Czech Republic, or Spain. Having a US immigrant visa exempts a traveler from the Schengen ATV requirement, which applies for Indians to those three countries, but the child wouldn't have a US immigrant visa in that case. – phoog May 15 at 18:32
  • Thank you so much for the detailed answer. – Aris totle May 16 at 10:42
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Although I'm not familiar with Indian nationality law, I assume that your child will be an Indian citizen at birth. As a minor child of a permanent resident, your child is eligible to apply for F2A immigration visa (just like your wife). According to the Visa Bulletin For May 2020, there doesn't seem to be any backlog of applications, so you can start the process as soon as the baby is born and has all the basic documents. I don't know anything about the Indian side of things, so I can't comment on what it takes to get a passport for the baby.

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  • Thank you. It is correct that by birth child will be an Indian citizen. I see that F2A processing for India currently has no backlog. If F2A is applied, how long will it take get the visa? – Aris totle May 15 at 10:31
  • @Aristotle I unfortunately can't answer that, perhaps someone with more relevant experience will chime in. – TooTea May 15 at 10:36
  • Thank you for the prompt response. – Aris totle May 15 at 10:41

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