United States immigration law allows for US citizens to apply for a green card for their father. However, as a green card holder, also known as a lawful permanent resident, you are not allowed to apply for father green card until you are naturalized as a citizen of the United States. This article will explain how to apply for my father green card. If after reading the information below you are unsure whether you are eligible to apply for father green card or want assistance with the process, our family-based immigration attorneys are here to help.
Green Card for Father FAQ
Can I sponsor my father for a green card?
Yes, you can apply for father green card. It is considered a part of family-based immigration process, one of the most popular paths to US permanent residency and ultimately citizenship. A green card for the father of a US citizen is obtained through an immigrant visa that leads to a family-based permanent resident card. If a US citizen over 21 years of age decides to sponsor their foreign national father for lawful permanent residency, then they can do that by completing the green card process and filing a petition known as Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
US immigration law treats fathers as immediate relatives, which makes the immigration process easier, particularly when compared to other green card options such as employment-based immigration. Please note, the concrete steps a son or daughter needs to take when they apply for father green card largely depend on where the father is located. If you want to apply for a green card for your father who is already residing in the United States, then his application will involve a process called “adjustment of status” during which his status of a nonimmigrant is changed to immigrant as soon as the petition for father green card is approved. If the father is currently located outside of the United States, then he would apply for a green card through a process that involves a consular interview, conducted in a US consulate or embassy in his home country. Both of these options are equally valid when you petition for father green card.
Am I Eligible to Apply for Father Green Card?
As a US citizen, you can apply for father green card. Please note that the definitions of father and child in this legal context are very specific. The first and foremost requirement for a green card for fathers is that the US citizen applying for a green card for their father be over the age of 21. If you are a US citizen who is over the age of 21, you are eligible to:
- Sponsor your father for a green card;
- Sponsor your father for a green card even if he is an adoptive parent, so long as the adoption took place before your 16th birthday;
- Sponsor your father for a green card even if he is a stepparent, so long as the marriage occurred before your 18th birthday;
One important detail to note is that since the repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) and the US Supreme Court’s decision in Obergefell v. Hodges, a new option for a green card sponsorship for fathers of US citizens was added. If the US citizen’s fathers are in a same-sex marriage, they have the same rights and are therefore both eligible to receive a permanent resident cards through their son or daughter.
Can I File for My Father With a Green Card?
Unfortunately, only US citizens are allowed to petition for father green card. If you are a lawful permanent resident asking yourself “Can I file for my father with a green card?”, then the short answer is no. However, if you wait for your naturalization as a United States citizen, you can then apply for father green card.
What is the green card for father processing time?
When you apply for father green card you can expect a green card for father processing time of approximately 6 to 14 months. Note that depending on the location of your father, the USCIS field office or US consular post, the green card for father processing time will vary.
Does my father need to reside in the US throughout the year after the petition for my father’s green card is approved?
If you receive an approval of the petition for father green card, it is required that your father reside permanently in the United States. Unlike non-immigrant visas which have less stringent residence requirements, with an approved green card for your father, taking trips outside the United States for longer than 6 months may lead to revocation of the green card due to a finding of abandonment of permanent residence. Short trips abroad are permitted but a permanent resident is expected to be living in the United States.
What are my obligations if I sponsor my father for a green card?
If you choose to apply for father green card, you will have to sign an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) on behalf of your father. This affidavit is a legally binding contract that states you will support your father financially, ensuring that he will not require public benefits from the US government. If you petition for father green card, you can only be released from the affidavit of support obligations when your father has received his US citizenship or has worked at least 40 qualifying quarters as a permanent resident.
If my income isn’t enough, can a joint sponsor help me sponsor my father for a green card?
If you do not meet the minimum income requirements for sponsorship, a joint sponsor can submit an additional Affidavit of Support on behalf of your father if their income meets the minimum income requirements as defined on Form I-864P and all other requirements are met.
The petition for my father’s green card was denied. What can I do?
If you attempted to apply for father green card but the petition was denied, your denial letter will include instructions on how to appeal the decision along with a deadline by which you must submit your appeal. After USCIS processes your appeal form and the required fee, the appeal will be transferred to the Board of Immigration Appeals. Depending on the reasons for the denial, in some cases it may be worth refiling the case rather than appealing. An experienced immigration lawyer can help evaluate the best strategy for your case.
What documents do I need to apply for my father’s green card?
The documents that the US citizen will need to petition for father green card can be divided into two categories: forms and the supporting documentary evidence, such as birth certificates, passports, marriage certificates, etc. proving that all the requirements for sponsorship are met.
How to Apply for my Father Green Card?
The initial step in the process of applying for father green card is filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Together with the form you should include evidence that you are a US citizen over the age of 21 as well as evidence of your biological, adoptive, or stepparent relationship with your father.
The second step in the process will depend on whether your father resides inside or outside the United States. If your father lives inside the United States, you will be filing Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status with all required evidence. If your father lives outside the United States, you will apply for father green card by filing Form DS-260 with the National Visa Center from where the case will be transferred to the local US Embassy or Consulate which will process your father’s application.
Regardless of whether your father will pursue the adjustment of status process or the consular process, a valid Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and a valid medical exam from a government approved physician, proving that your father is not inadmissible due to medical reasons, must be submitted together with the application.
Finally, you and your father may be required to attend an immigration interview at a USCIS field office in the United States if you choose the adjustment of status process. USCIS often waives such interviews for green card petitions for fathers. However, if the officer wishes to make sure that all eligibility requirements are met, an interview invitation will be sent to the US citizen sponsor and to the beneficiary father. After the interview the officer will either approve the case, deny the case, or request more evidence to render a decision in the case.
If your father is applying through the consular process, then he will be required to attend an interview at the US embassy or consulate processing his application. At the end of the interview, the consular officer will either approve the application, deny the application, or request additional evidence regarding the case. If the application is approved, your father will be issued an immigrant visa which he will use to travel to the United States. Once in the United States, your father will be sent a green card in the mail.
Pandev Law’s Green Card for Father Services
Our law firm has helped many US citizens apply for father green card. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you petition for your father’s green card.
If you would like to schedule a consultation with our immigration attorney, follow the link and click on “Schedule a Consultation.” You can also reach us via email at [email protected], or call us at (212) 220-6652.
During your consultation, our immigration lawyer will provide an honest assessment of your case, as well as a recommendation regarding your next steps.
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