Green Card for Parents

As an experienced family-based immigration law firm, Pandev Law has spent years helping clients apply green card for parents as they embark on their immigration journey to America. We use our knowledge and expertise on the topic to aid you as you navigate through the family-based immigration process. In this article we aim to explain how to apply green card for parents as well as answer frequently asked questions about the green card for parents application process. 

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How to Apply Green Card for Parents 

The process can be broken down into 3 stages. 

Stage 1: I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives. You will fill in and submit this form along with supporting evidence. The supporting evidence aims to confirm that you are a US citizen over the age of 21 and that your relationship with your parents is valid for the purpose of immigration.

Stage 2: This stage will differ depending on your parents location.. If your parents live inside the United States, submit Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status with the required evidence. If your parents live outside the United States, you will apply green card for parents by filing Form DS-260 with the National Visa Center. The case will be transferred to the local US Embassy or Consulate for processing.  

You will also need to submit a valid Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and a valid medical exam from a government approved physician, proving that your parents are not inadmissible due to medical reasons, must be submitted together with the application. These are submitted regardless of your parents’ whereabouts. 

Stage 3: The immigration interview. Both you and your parents could be required to attend an immigration interview. This would be located at a USCIS field office in the United States if you applied via the adjustment of status process. The interview would be located at the US embassy or consulate processing the application for your parents if they applied through consular processing. 

Sponsoring Green Card for Parents

As long as the US citizen is over 21 years (i.e., of legal age), they can sponsor their foreign national mother and/or father for permanent residency by completing and submitting the necessary forms and supporting documents. If the US citizens’ parents are in a same sex marriage they may sponsor both their mothers or fathers. 

What is an Immediate Relative?

The foreign nationals that are considered immediate relatives include:

  • Spouses of US citizens – including couples who are in a legal non-fraudulent (“bona fide”) marriage as well widows and widowers of US citizens.
  • Unmarried children of a US citizen, as long as they are under the age of 21.
  • Parents of US citizens, as long as the US citizen child is age 21 or older. Currently, the parents of permanent residents cannot immigrate to the United States through their children.
  • Stepparents and stepchildren of US citizens can qualify as immediate relatives, as long as the marriage of the stepparent to the parent took place before the 18th birthday of the child.

There are some situations in which adoptive parents and adoptive children may also qualify as immediate relatives. 

Green Card for Parents Eligibility

Any qualifying US citizen can sponsor his or her parents for a green card. The first and foremost requirement if you want to apply green card for parents is that the US citizen is over the age of 21. As mentioned above, the citizen is eligible to sponsor his or her mother, father, adoptive parent (if the adoption took place before the child’s 16th birthday), or stepparent (if the marriage occurred before the child’s 18th birthday).

Green Card for Parents Processing Time

As mentioned before, the unlimited availability of green cards in the immediate relative immigration category means that the green card for parents processing time is usually shorter than other types of green cards. This is especially true if the foreign nationals are residing in the United States, as the concurrent filing of Form I-130 and form I-485 saves a substantial amount of time processing-wise. The typical green card for parents timeline is approximately 6 to 12 months, depending on the service center handling the immigrant’s application. Unfortunately, for foreign national parents who live abroad, this type of concurrent filing is not allowed and the green card for parents wait time is longer in this situation. They will first have to wait for the I-130 petition filed by their son/daughter to be approved and wait for the priority date to be current before they can apply for their green card through consular processing. 

Applying for Parents Green Card While on Tourist Visa

If you want to apply green card for parents who are inside the US on a tourist visa you would apply for an adjustment of status. It is very important that you be careful about filing such an adjustment of status application as tourist visitors, in B-2 status, must intend to depart the United States at the end of their stay. By filing the adjustment of status application, your parents will demonstrate an intent to permanently reside in the United States. This may contradict statements they have made at the time of entry in B-2 status. It is important to develop a careful strategy in such cases so that the immigration officer adjudicating the adjustment of status application does not find that your parents misrepresented their intent to depart the United States at the time of their entry in B-2 status. 

Green Card for Parents FAQ

Can Green Card holder Apply for Parents?

Many applicants wonder can green card holder sponsor parents? Unfortunately, no. The only individuals allowed to apply green card for parents are US citizens. However, a green card holder can still sponsor his or her children and spouse and wait until they are naturalized before sponsoring their parents as well.

What Documents do I Need to Apply Green Card for Parents?

The US citizen will need to file both forms and the supporting documents when they apply green card for parents. The forms that the petitioner and the beneficiary need to file are outlined in the “How to Apply Green Card for Parents” section of this article.

Are my parents required to reside in the US throughout the year after they receive their green cards?

This is a difficult question to answer because technically they are free to travel. However, the trips are supposed to be temporary and short. Any trips longer than 6 months will require your parents to apply for a reentry permit. The purpose of a green card is to allow the individual to reside in the United States permanently and long trips might be seen as a reason to revoke the green card.

Do I have any obligations as the sponsor if I Apply Green Card for Parents?

As a sponsor, when you apply green card for parents you must sign an affidavit of support (Form I-864) for your parents. USCIS sees it as a guarantee that you will maintain the standard of living of the immigrant you’re sponsoring at a level that is not lower than 125% of the FPG. You will be free from that obligation once your parent has received his or her US citizenship or has worked at least 40 qualifying quarters as a permanent resident.

My petition was denied; what can I do?

If the green card for parents petition you filed was denied, the denial letter will give you detailed instructions on how to appeal and how much time you have to file said appeal. After your appeal form and the required fees are processed by the USCIS, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals. In some cases, depending on the reasons for the denial, it may make more sense to refile the case than to appeal the officer’s decision. In situations like this a careful analysis of the reasons for denial is required in order to make the right strategic decision for your case. 

Pandev Law’s Green Card for Parents Services

Our law firm has helped many US citizens apply green card for parents. We have the knowledge and expertise to help you petition for your parents’ 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.

I offer confidential 30 minute & 1 hour consultations.

Schedule a consultation
Adrian Pandev immigration lawyer USA

Disclaimer: This blog article is provided by Pandev Law, LLC for general educational and informational purposes only. Although this article discusses general legal issues, it does not constitute legal advice nor does it establish an attorney-client relationship. No reader should act or refrain from acting on the basis of any information presented in this article, or elsewhere on this website, without seeking the advice of appropriate legal counsel, or other professional counsel, licensed in the relevant jurisdiction. Pandev Law, LLC expressly disclaims any and all liability with respect to any actions taken, or not taken, based on any content of this article or website. This blog article may constitute attorney advertising. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome.

Adrian Pandev

As the principal attorney at Pandev Law, I have helped hundreds of foreign individuals and companies successfully navigate their journey to the United States. Previously, I served as Trial Attorney at the U.S. Department of Justice. Now, I represent foreign investors, founders, and high-net-worth-individuals in business, immigration, and wealth planning matters. I am an early proponent of blockchain technology and serve as strategic advisor to blockchain startups and cryptocurrency investors. Selected to the Super Lawyers New York Rising Stars list 2019-2021. Follow me on Twitter, LinkedIn, or Instagram.

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