Question: Can I petition my stepfather if I have proof the relationship with my mother initiated before I was 18?

Question Detail:

My mom and step dad started their relationship in 1985. In 1992 they got married while in vacation in the US, I was 19 and I was the legal witness to their marriage. Now I want to petition for him and my mother. If I have proof to their relationship prior to 1992, could I petition for him too? If not, could there be any law promoting family union that would allow my step father to join my mother?


Unfortunately, you may not petition for your stepfather, because according to USCIS a stepparent or a stepchild may not file if the marriage that created the relationship took place after the child’s 18th birthday. According 8 CFR Sec. 204.2(f)(1, 2(ii)) only a U.S. citizen who is twenty-one years of age or older may file a petition on behalf of a parent and petitioner must provide evidence of the claimed relationship. In order for the beneficiary to be considered the parent of the petitioner, under the Immigration and Nationality Act 101(b), the stepchild, whether or not born out of wedlock, must not have had reached the age of 18 at the time of marriage creating the status of a stepchild.

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  1. Why must a person be 21 to file but becomes a legal adult at 18? Confused

    1. This is just how immigration law is written. The petitioner must be at least 21 years of age.

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