We understand that finding a reliable child caregiver is one of the most stressful – and important – parts of being a parent. Once you find your trusted child caregiver, the thought of losing that person because she or he does not have legal status in the United States can be terrifying. As immigration attorneys and working mothers, we are often asked, “How can I sponsor my child’s caregiver for a green card?”
Can I sponsor my nanny for citizenship?
This question breaks our hearts, not only as attorneys but also as mothers. We know that many families would do anything, and pay any amount, to sponsor their caregiver for a green card. But the reality is that in most situations, you cannot sponsor your child’s caregiver for U.S. citizenship. If she or he is here illegally (e.g., by overstaying her or his tourist status or entering the U.S. without inspection), the law essentially says that there is no way for that person to become legal. As immigration attorneys, however, our job is to come up with solutions to help you – and your caregiver.
What are my options?
Through our years of experience working with child caregivers (and the families who hire them), we have found that in some cases there may be a way to help them legalize their status.
- If the country your child’s caregiver is from is undergoing political unrest, the U.S. may have issued TPS (Temporary Protective Status) for the citizens of that country. If so, your caregiver may qualify for TPS and be able to obtain an immigration benefit for as long as the TPS is in effect.
- If your child’s caregiver’s family had filed a green card petition for the caregiver before April 30, 2001, she or he may be able to benefit under the life act.
- If your caregiver has a child or spouse who is a U.S. citizen, she or he may have an opportunity to legalize her or his status.
These are just a few possibilities, and every person’s background and situation are unique.
What should I do now to help my child’s caregiver apply for a green card?
Your first step should be to speak with a reputable immigration attorney. If your child caregiver has already engaged an immigration attorney, you can help by speaking with the attorney to understand the strategy he or she is using in the green card process. If your caregiver does not yet have someone representing her or him, this is the time to consult an experienced immigration attorney with a solid reputation to learn what options may be available.
What should my child’s caregiver and I be careful about?
Unfortunately, many child caregivers go to agencies or visa consultants for help with immigration matters. Often, these agencies and consultants file frivolous green card applications that they know will not be granted. If that happens, your caregiver will become known to the immigration authorities and at risk of being put in removal proceedings. It is very important to understand the risks associated with filing an application with the Department of Homeland Security, and to speak with an immigration attorney before the application is filed.
Are complex and constantly changing – which is why it is so important to speak with a knowledgeable immigration attorney. Keep in mind that any conversation you or your child caregiver have with an attorney is confidential, so do not be afraid to sit down with the lawyer, provide all relevant information, and express your concerns. We understand the bond that you and your family have with your caregiver, and the importance of protecting that special relationship by helping her or him remain legally in the U.S.
Yevoli & Malayev, PLLC is a full-service immigration law firm located in New York City. Our firm represents individuals and businesses across the country and around the world. Immigration law is highly complex and individualized. Our firm offers personalized service. We help our clients define their immigration strategy, taking into consideration long-term goals as well as short-term needs. You will get advice tailored to your unique situation. Our attorneys are skilled in analyzing your immigration situation and developing creative solutions for even the most complex challenges at an affordable price. Unlike most other law firms, our services are conducted on an affordable flat-fee basis. You’ll know in advance the costs involved. No surprises. The process is spelled out for you in the beginning so you know exactly what to expect.
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