How to Get a Green Card for Your Parents as a U.S. Citizen

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How to Get a Green Card for Your Parents as a U.S. Citizen

Parents of U.S. citizens who are noncitizens qualify to migrate to the U.S. under the sponsorship of their children who are over the age of 21. If the parents are already in the U.S. in some other visa status or even without any status, it is possible for them to apply and obtain a green card without being required to leave the U.S. to process for the green card outside the country. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, we have family immigration lawyers who routinely help U.S. citizens obtain green cards for their parents. We are based in Chicago but also handle cases in Indiana, Wisconsin, and Michigan.

Obtaining Green Cards for Parents of U.S. Citizens

The process of obtaining a green card for one or both parents start with the U.S. citizen filing an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It will take approximately 10.5 to 16 months to have the green card processed and have the parent or both parents receive their green cards. The I-130 petition must be accompanied by evidence to establish the existence of the relationship between parent and child, in this case, between the U.S. citizen child and his or her parent or parents.

Additional requirements that must be met are as follows:

  • You must show proof that you are a U.S. citizen, and this is typically done by providing a copy of your U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or birth certificate.
  • The birth certificate will also show that these are your parent or parents you are sponsoring with the I-130 petition.
  • You must show that you can support the parent or parents at 125% over the poverty line. To figure out what that income is, you can check with the 2023 Poverty Guidelines.

If your parents are already in the U.S., you can file both your petition for them and their individual I-485 Application to Register as Permanent Resident or Adjust Status. Each parent will require a separate application, so if both of your parents are applying for a green card, both must file separate applications, and each must pay the applicable fees.

If your parents are outside the U.S., then the I-130 will first have to be processed and approved before they can apply for their green cards. They will apply for the green card under what is known as “consular processing,” meaning they will apply for their green cards at the U.S. embassy in the country they live in or at the nearest U.S. consulate. The consular processing begins when USCIS approves the I-130 petition and notifies the National Visa Center (NVC), which in turn notifies the parent or parents to start processing their green card applications.

If you are a U.S. citizen and wish to sponsor your parents for a green card, contact us today and schedule an appointment to discuss with one of our immigration attorneys how we can help you. Do not risk doing it alone, as things can quickly get complicated and cause you more delays and costs.