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

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

Parents of U.S. citizens are classified as “immediate relatives” under U.S. immigration laws, which means there is no limit on the number of green cards obtained in this category every year, and this, in turn, means there is no waiting time beyond normal processing time for the parent to obtain their green card. All other categories under which other relatives and green card applicants apply to get a green card have long waiting periods. At Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC, we routinely help families in the Chicago area obtain green cards for their qualifying parents.

Sponsoring Parents for a Green Card

If you are a U.S. citizen, the law allows you to apply for your parents to become lawful permanent residents (green card holders), provided you are at least 21 years old. However, it is important to note that you must show that you have sufficient income or assets to support your parents. The amount you will need to show is at least 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines, including support for your own family. 

Application Process for Parents to Receive Green Card

To start the process to have your parents obtain a green card if you are a United States citizen, you’ll need to complete and file form I-130, also known as Petition for Alien Relative with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition is intended to prove your status as a U.S. citizen and that there is a child-parent relationship that exists between you and your parents, who are referred to in the petition as “beneficiaries.”

The petition should therefore include both a copy of your U.S. passport, naturalization certificate, or other proof of citizenship, as well as your birth certificate with your parents’ names or an acceptable proof of their relationship to you. It is important to remember not to send originals of these documents as you may never get them back; rather, just send copies. Also, if you are petitioning for both of your parents, then you will need to submit two separate I-130 petitions, one for each parent.

Once the I-130 petition is approved, and if your parents live outside the United States, USCIS will forward their file to a U.S. consulate in your parents’ home country. The consulate will then communicate with them about how they can submit their own required application forms and documents.

If your parents are already in the U.S., and they legally entered the country, then it will be possible for them to go through what is known as adjustment of status and receive their green cards here in the United States without being required to leave to complete the process outside the U.S. Indeed, if your parents are eligible for adjustment of status, they can concurrently file their green card application alongside your I-130 petition.

If you are in the Chicago area and wish to apply for a green card for your parents, contact the immigration attorneys at Kriezelman Burton & Associates, LLC today to schedule an appointment to discuss your case.