So, you are the parent of a child who has just turned 21? Congratulations! 21st birthdays in the U.S. are the point when an individual finally becomes a full adult. That is the last age where something will be available to them that never was before.
The 21st birthday is extremely important in the field of immigration as well, but for very different reasons.
Under the age of 21, most children are able to be tied to their parent’s visa, which allows them to travel in and out of the U.S., go to U.S. schools, and various other things. On the day of their 21st birthday, however, they will no longer be eligible under their parent’s visa, and will be required by law to get their own.
This change is not a big deal if it has been planned for, and is known ahead of time. What happens all too often, though, is an individual will not know about the need for their own visa until it is too late, and they already need it.
If an individual turns 21 and has not taken any steps towards securing their own visa, then they are required to leave the U.S. within 10 days, and not return to either go to school or live with their family. They may be able to get a tourist visa, which would allow them a few months to tie up loose ends and pack up their belongings, but that is the limit that they can get.
In our next entry, we will go over some of the ways that an individual can make sure that they are prepared the day they turn 21.