Do I Have to Mention My Children on a Visa Application or an Immigration Application?
This question comes up surprisingly often. The answer is clear and obvious: You must mention every child you have on any application that asks for your children.
However, because this is such a common question, I will review the different scenarios.
The answer does not change, though:
You must list all children on any visa application or immigration application that asks for the names of your children.
Do I have to mention my children if they are not applying for a visa with me?
Yes. You must mention all children, whether they already have their own visas.
Do I have to mention my children if they are not traveling with me?
Yes. You must mention all children whether they are traveling with you or will be following to join you later. You must also mention all children even if they will never be coming to the United States.
Do I have to mention my children who live in a different country?
Yes. You must list all of your children, regardless of where they currently live.
Do I have to mention my United States citizen children?
Yes. You must list your United States citizen children on all applications, even though they do not need visas and will never have an immigration case.
Do I have to mention my adult or married children?
Yes. You must mention all children, even if they are adults or are married and have their own families.
Do I have to mention my children if they are in the United States already?
Yes. You must list all children regardless of where they live.
Do I have mention my children if they are unlawfully in the United States?
Yes. You must mention all children in the United States, regardless of their immigration status.
Do I have to mention my adopted children?
Yes. You must list all adopted children if there is a final order granting the adoption. If the adoption is not yet final, you should consult with a United States immigration attorney to evaluate how the pending adoption may impact your application.
Do I have to mention my children if I was not married to the other parent when they were born?
Yes. You must list all of your children on all applications, even if they were born out of wedlock. If you learn that you have a child after you have submitted an application, you should consult with an immigration attorney to determine how best to amend the application.
Do I have to mention my children if they have died?
Yes. Most applications will also request some information about the child such as current address or whether the child is applying for an immigration benefit or a visa with you. You should indicate that the child is deceased.
Do I have to mention my children if I never see them or talk to them?
Yes. You must list all children, regardless of how close the actual relationship is.
Do I have to mention my children if they do not live with me?
Yes. You have to list all children, regardless of where they live in the world.
Do I have to mention my stepchildren?
Yes, but you should explain the relationship. Stepchildren are a little more complex. Some applications will specifically ask about stepchildren, while others do not specifically request the names of stepchildren. If you have any questions about whether to list a stepchild or not, you should consult with an immigration attorney.
Do I have to list all of my children if I have more children than the form has space?
Yes. If you have more children than the form has spaces to name each child, you should include a separate sheet of paper with the names of all of your children.
What if I do not list all of my children on an application?
The United States government considers children to always be material. If you do not disclose a child, the government may find that you have made a material misrepresentation and bar you permanently from the United States. Even if the United States does not bar you permanently, a failure to disclose a child can complicate your immigration case or endanger your immigration status in the future. It can also complicate your child’s immigration case in the future.