Parents of US Citizen Green Card
Immigration can be complicated and if you are the parents of a US Citizen seeking a Green Card, Michael G. Murray, PA may be able to help. Contact us today!
Parents of US Citizens’ Green Card
In the United States, green card holders can only sponsor their spouses and children for green cards. But, if you are a US citizen 21 years or older, you are also allowed to sponsor your parents. You can do this whether they live abroad or are already in the United States on a temporary visa.
You will first have to prove a relationship with them to the USCIS, after which they can apply for a visa if they are outside the country and eventually get their green card. Hiring a naturalization and citizenship lawyer for this process can be pretty helpful.
Parents of US Citizen Green Card Category
US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) classifies parents as immediate relatives under the family-based green card category. Children and spouses of citizens are also included in this category.
How to Apply for Green Card for Parents of US Citizens
Your relationship with your parents and their location at the time you initiate the green card petition process will determine the process you must follow. Different documents must be filed depending on whether they are adoptive, natural, or step-parents. Also, if your parents are outside the country, they must go through consular processing, but they can file for an Adjustment of Status if they are already in the US.
Consular Processing Steps for Parents’ Green Card
File Form I-130 and Supporting Documents
Obtaining permanent residency for a family member starts with filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. It must be filed with the USCIS along with supporting documents to prove your parent-child relationship is legitimate. You will need to complete the form separately for each parent and pay a filing fee. If the USCIS approves it, you will receive an approval notice.
The supporting documents you will be required to submit for your birth parents may include a birth certificate showing your name and parents’ name, their marriage certificate, and proof of citizenship if you were not born in the US.
If you were adopted, you will need to submit your birth and adoption certificate and may also need documents that show you have lived with your adoptive parents. In the case of a step-parent, you’ll be required to file your parents’ marriage certificate and a document that proves that any initial marriage on either side legally ended.
Depending on the situation, the process can become complicated, such as with adoptive parents and step-parents. Additionally, if you were born to unmarried parents and are applying for your father, you might have to prove a relationship between the two of you before a certain date.
A green card petition can be complex, so hiring an experienced visa lawyer might be your best bet in this situation.
Applying for Immigrant Visas
Once the petition is approved, the USCIS forwards the application to the National Visa Center, which processes consular visa applications. They will inform you and your parents when they receive your petition and ask for some additional documentation later on. As well as informing you of the deadline for submitting the required documents and paying the visa application fee, the NVC will also inform you of when your parents’ visa application fee is due.
The NVC would require the beneficiary to file Form DS-260, the immigrant visa application. In most cases, you will also have to file Form I-864, which constitutes an agreement between you and the government to cover your parents’ expenses if they cannot support themselves.
Interview, Visa Approval, and Green Card Receipt
The NVC will schedule your parents for an interview once all fees have been paid and documents have been submitted. Upon reviewing your parents’ entire case, they will determine their eligibility for a visa.
Upon approval, they will be able to travel to the United States and become permanent residents. USCIS usually mails the green card to the beneficiaries about a month after they arrive in the US.
Adjustment of Status
Form I-485 must be filed together with Form I-130 with the USCIS if your parents are already in the US. Form I-485 is the Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. When it is submitted, your parents will not have to leave the country even when their temporary visa expires.
How Long Does It Take To Get a Green Card for Parents of US Citizens?
Since parents of US citizens fall under the immediate relatives category, visas are always available, and there is no waiting list to get their visa and green card approved. Therefore, the process is not as long as it is for other green card categories.
Becoming a green card holder as the parent of a US citizen may take anywhere between 6 months to a year. The process is usually quicker with consular processing than with Adjustment of Status.
Nevertheless, some situations may complicate the application process or end up leading to a failed application. For instance, if either of your parents has a criminal record or a poor immigration history, this means they have abused a previous visa by overstaying or exceeding their freedoms.
Such situations may not necessarily spell the end of their green card process if they can contact and work with a sound immigration attorney.
Hiring a Lawyer for Your Immigration Services
Employing an immigration lawyer from a reputable law firm could help avoid making errors that would otherwise lengthen the green card application process. They can help you file and fill forms appropriately to avoid complications and represent you if any legal issues arise. If you need immigration lawyer services in Austin, TX, don’t hesitate to contact the Law Office of Michael G. Murray.