How to Apply for My Mother’s Green Card
As a US citizen, you are permitted under US immigration law to apply for mother green card. The family-based immigration process is the most common path to a green card in the United States. Many US citizen clients wonder whether they can sponsor their mother for lawful permanent residency and bring her to live with them in the United States.
If you are reading this article, you are most likely asking yourself “How to apply for my mother green card?” We can help you gain a better understanding of how the process works and how to petition for mother green card. After we outline the step by step green card for mother process we will answer a number of frequently asked questions about the process. If you are still not certain whether or not you can sponsor your mother for a green card, our family-based immigration attorneys can help you better understand your options.
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How to Apply for my Mother Green Card?
The first step in the process of applying for mother green card is filing a Petition for Alien Relative on Form I-130. In addition to the form, you should also include evidence of your eligibility to petition for your mother’s green card. This includes evidence of your US citizenship and that you are over the age of 21. Also include proof of your relationship with your mother whether she be biological, adoptive, or a stepparent.
The next step, after your I-130 petition is approved, depends on whether your mother is currently inside or outside of the United States. If your mother is located outside the United States, you will apply for mother green card by filing Form DS-260 with the National Visa Center. The National Visa Center will then transfer the case to the US Embassy or Consulate closest to the place of residence of your mother which will process your mother’s immigrant visa application. If your mother is residing inside the United States, you will need to file Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, with USCIS with all required evidence.
Notwithstanding whether your mother will go through the adjustment of status process or the consular process, a valid Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, must be filed with the application. Your mother will also need to present a valid medical exam from a government approved physician to prove that she is not inadmissible due to certain medical conditions.
If your mother is applying through a US consulate or embassy, she will have to attend an interview to complete processing her immigrant visa application. The consular officer in charge of the application will review the entire case and file and ask necessary questions to determine eligibility at the interview. At the conclusion of the interview, the officer will either approve or deny the application. In some cases, the officer may request that your mother provide additional evidence before issuance of the immigrant visa. If your mother’s application is approved, the officer will issue your mother an immigrant visa. Your mother will use this visa to enter the United States. After your mother arrives in the United States, the government will mail her green card to her at the address indicated in the application.
If your mother is applying through the adjustment of status process, you and your mother may have to jointly attend an immigration interview at a USCIS field office in the United States. The purpose of the interview is for the officer to make sure that your mother meets all requirements to be issued a green card. In many cases, USCIS waives interviews in green card applications filed by a mother of a US citizen and sends the applicant a decision in the mail.
Green Card for Mother FAQ
Mother Green Cards and the Immediate Relative Category
Green card applications filed by a mother of a US citizen fall in the immediate relative category. The immediate relative category has a lot of advantages to other family-based immigration green card category because there is no annual cap on the amount of green cards issued in this category. This means that for immediate relatives, including mothers applying for a green card, there are no multi-year backlogs delaying the green card process.
The foreign nationals that are considered immediate relatives include:
- Spouses of US citizens
- Children under the age of 21 of a US citizen
- Parents of US citizens
- Stepparents of US citizens
- Stepchildren under the age of 21 of US citizens
- In many instances, adoptive parents and adoptive children may also qualify as immediate relatives, depending on the particular circumstances of the case
Can I Sponsor my Mother for a Green Card?
You can apply for mother green card if you are a US citizen over the age of 21. If you are a lawful permanent resident asking yourself “Can I file for my mother with a green card?”, then unfortunately the short answer is no. However, as a permanent resident you will be able to apply for naturalization to become a US citizen. After becoming a US citizen, you can apply for mother green card. Since mothers of US citizens over the age of 21 fall in the immediate relative category, there is no backlog when you apply for mother green card, besides the standard government processing times.
Am I Eligible to Apply for Mother Green Card?
If you are a US citizen over the age of 21, you can apply mother green card. The legal definitions of mother and child in the immigration context are quite specific. The most critical requirement for a green card for mothers is that you, the petitioner, be a US citizen and be over the age of 21. Without these two critical requirements being met, you will not be able to sponsor your mother for a green card. If you meet these two requirements, you will be able to sponsor: (1) your biological mother for a green card, (2) sponsor your adoptive mother, so long as your adoption took place before your 16th birthday, and (3) sponsor your stepparent mother, so long as the marriage between your biological parent and stepmother occurred before your 18th birthday.
If you are sponsoring your stepmother, it is important to remember that since the US Supreme Court repealed Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), same-sex marriages are considered valid, legal marriages in the immigration context. This means that you will be able to sponsor your stepmother for a green card even if your parents are in a same-sex marriage. It is critical that your parents have have entered their marriage before your 18th birthday, if you are sponsoring your stepmother.
What is the green card for mother processing time?
After you apply for mother green card, you will have to wait for the government to process the case. Generally, the green card for mother processing time is around 6 to 15 months. The length of the processing time will depend on the particular facts of the case as well as the exact USCIS and/or consular office processing the applications. As such, the green card for mother processing time may vary from case to case.
Does my mother need to live in the United States all year after the green card application is approved?
If your petition for mother green card is approved, your mother will be regarded as a permanent resident of the United States. Permanent residents are expected to reside in the United States on a permanent basis. Once your mother receives her green card she will need to make sure to adhere to this requirement and to avoid trips lasting longer than 6 months outside the United States, as that may lead to her loosing her green card.
Do I have obligations if I sponsor my mother for a green card?
If you decide to apply for mother green card, you will have to submit an affidavit of support on behalf of your mother. The affidavit of support is a legally binding contract which obligates you, the US citizen sponsor to financially support your mother, if she were to apply to receive certain public benefits. If you petition for mother green card, this obligation to financially support your mother will last until your mother becomes a US citizen or until she has worked 40 qualifying quarters, approximately 10 entire years of full-time employment, as a permanent resident (ie. green card holder).
To qualify as a sponsor for affidavit of support purposes, you have to meet certain minimum income requirements. If your income isn’t high enough, you may use a joint sponsor to help you sponsor your mother for a green card. The joint sponsor does not have to be a relative. However, the joint sponsor must meet the minimum income requirements and must be a US citizen or permanent resident.
My mother’s green card application was denied. What should I do?
If you tried to apply for mother green card but the petition was denied, you will receive a denial letter explaining the reasons of the denial. Depending on the reasons for the denial you may choose to appeal your petition for mother green card denial or to refile the case. If your green card petition for your mother was denied, you should consider consulting an experienced immigration lawyer to create the best strategy to avoid further delays in your mother’s green card process.
Pandev Law’s Green Card for Mother Services
Our law firm has extensive experience helping many US citizens apply for mother green card. We understand the common pitfalls and challenges in these cases. We have the necessary know-how to help you petition for your mother’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 review your case and create a strategy for you.
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