Parents of U.S. citizens do not have to wait in line for a visa for immigration to the U.S. Instead, you can sponsor them to get permanent residency.
You must already be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old to petition for your mother or father to live in the United States as green card holders.
Being able to help your parents this way is exciting, and you’re probably full of questions—Where do I start? How long will the process take? And, how can I get help?
This article will delve into the steps you need to take to sponsor a green card for your parents and how you can get help with the process.
A parent green card is a type of family-based green card.
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) prioritizes parents of American children, granting them access to permanent residency much faster than other relatives.
Your parents must be eligible and admissible to qualify for a green card.
To be eligible, they must be your legal parent, meaning your:
It’s important to note that, although your parents may be eligible for citizenship, they may not be admissible to the United States. USCIS has specific grounds for inadmissibility.
Grounds for inadmissibility include:
Failing to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements will result in the denial of your application.
Here, you’ll include the filing fee of $535 and submit supporting documents showing proof that you have an “eligible relationship.”
The type of documents required will vary depending on the relationship. For example, if petitioning for your mother, you will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate or, if you were not born in the U.S., a copy of your passport or Certificate of Naturalization.
The timeline for approval can vary but it can be as short as three months or as long as two years. .
Once you’ve received approval, the next step is filing form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
Form I-864 shows you are prepared and willing to support green card petitioners financially to avoid relying on the U.S. government to assist.
If you are outside of the United States, you may file Form I-864 with the Department of State. Otherwise, it will need to be submitted to the USCIS.
Now you’re on your way to submitting a green card application. Your next steps will be based on whether your parent is already in the U.S.
If they are in the U.S., you must file form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. You can file the form before or after filing the immigration petition. However, filing them together is the most efficient process.
If they are outside of the U.S., they would have to go the route of consular processing.
This process consists of:
It can take up to 12 months from the date of your petition to receive your parent’s green card. However, depending on the circumstances and whether or not you have representation, this time frame can be as little as five months.
Sponsoring a green card for parents ranges from $1,200 to $1,800. Variables include the cost of health examinations, filing fees, and other miscellaneous expenses.
Here is a general breakdown of cost by form:
Not all of these charges are applicable in your case, but they give you a general overview of what you might pay when petitioning for a parent’s green card.
Helping your parent get a green card is noble. But the truth is the process is immensely complicated. It requires mounds of paperwork, patience, and an in-depth understanding of legal processes.
Even then, the simplest mistake can put you back at the starting point.
Our attorneys at Urbina Law Firm are committed to helping families like yours secure permanent residency in the United States.
We’ll help you by:
Most importantly, our attorneys are there to walk you through this process step-by-step and welcome you home. If you want to help your parent get a green card, it’s time to speak with an immigration lawyer in Marietta, GA, today.
Contact us today for your free consultation.