When people talk about family immigration, the focus is often on the next generation of their families. Parents often take risks and make major investments to offer their children a chance at a better life. However, some people also want to use their newfound opportunities to help the generation that came before them.
Those who have achieved career success or started a family after moving to the United States may want to share their good fortune with their parents. Perhaps someone hopes that their parents can have regular involvement with their grandchildren. Maybe they simply want to provide their parents with comfort during their retirement years. There are specific requirements that a sponsoring child will need to meet in order to bring their parents to the U.S. The parent can process by consular processing from outside the U.S. or through adjustment of status if they are inside the U.S.
Is United States Citizenship required to apply for my parents’ Green Card?
Yes, to obtain a green card for parents, the child seeking to bring their parent must be a United States citizen by birth, deriving citizenship, or Naturalization. The expanded immigration opportunities available to naturalized citizens include the ability to obtain a green card for a parent. You can also bring your adoptive parents to the US if you are a US citizen by birth and your adoptive parents are foreign nationals, so long as they meet all other admissibility requirements.
What proof of the parental relationship is required?
Depending on the sex of the parent and the relationship their citizen child has had with them historically, there may be a variety of evidence that someone will need to submit to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to obtain a green card for their parents. If someone wants to bring their biological mother to the United States, a birth certificate might be the only evidence of the familial relationship required. If they hope to bring a father who was not married to their mother to the country, proof of paternity and a supportive relationship will often be necessary. People without appropriate documentation affirming their relationship with a parent may face challenges.
Do I have to meet any other requirements to petition for a parent?
Yes, there are two other major requirements. You will need to meet basic minimum income requirements to petition for your parent. You also must have reached the age of 21 at the time you file your petition. To learn about all the requirements you must meet you should consult with an experienced immigration attorney.
A parent still must meet certain standards.
Even if someone wants to bring a biological parent to the United States and is a citizen, their parent still needs to be able to meet the standards established by the USCIS for immigration. They will generally need to have medical documentation and be able to pass a thorough background check.
What if my parents have dependents?
As Immediate Relatives of a US Citizen, parents cannot bring derivatives on their own application. They must first obtain their green card, and then they can petition for their dependent in a preference category.
Ultimately, seeking legal guidance to understand the requirements better and to receive thoughtful support can make a big difference to those hoping to bring their parents to live lawfully in the United States.