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How Can I Help My Parent Get A Green Card?

How Can I Help My Parent Get A Green Card?

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.

Steps to Sponsoring a Green Card For Parents of U.S. Citizens

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.

Determine Whether Your Parents Are “Eligible and Admissible”

Your parents must be eligible and admissible to qualify for a green card.

To be eligible, they must be your legal parent, meaning your:

  • Birth parent
  • Stepparent
  • Adoptive parent
  • Father to a child born out of wedlock

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:

  • Health reasons
  • Criminal reasons
  • National security reasons
  • Likelihood of becoming a public charge
  • Lack of labor certification
  • Fraud or misrepresentation
  • Prior removals and/or unlawful presence

Failing to meet eligibility and admissibility requirements will result in the denial of your application.

Complete an Immigration Petition

The next step is to fill out form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The I-130 can be completed online via the USCIS website.

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. .

Complete Form I-864 Affidavit of Support

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.

Prepare Green Card Application

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:

  1. Waiting on the decision for a visa petition
  2. Wait for notification from the National visa center that the visa petition has been received and when an immigrant visa number has become available
  3. Attend an appointment with the consular office
  4. Receive visa packet and travel to the U.S.
  5. Receive green card in the mail after arrival in the U.S.

How Long Does It Take for My Parents to Get a Green Card?

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.

How Much Does It Cost to Sponsor a Green Card for Parents?

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:

  • Form I-130—$535
  • Form I-485—$1,140
  • Form I-864—$120
  • Biometrics—$85
  • State Department Processing—$325
  • USCIS Immigrant fee—$220

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.

Why Hiring An Immigration Lawyer Can Benefit You

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:

  • preparing paperwork on your behalf
  • organizing supporting documents
  • advising you on your rights and communicating strategies to strengthen your case

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.