U.S. citizens can petition for the permanent residency of their parents. This includes biological and stepparents, in certain situations. Parents of U.S. citizens are considered Immediate Relatives. This may prove very beneficial in situations when the parent has worked in the U.S. without authorization or overstayed a non-immigrant visa.
Green Card Process for Parents
The process begins with a Form I-130 Petition by the U.S. citizen for his/her parent(s). If eligible, the parent can apply for a green card in the United States through a Form I-485. This is known as concurrent filing. USCIS may or may not invite the parent for an immigration interview. Upon approval of the concurrent filing, the parent receives a permanent, 10-year green card.
If the parent lives outside the United States, the parent will go through “Consular Process.” Upon approval of the Form I-130 Petition, the Petition will go to the National Visa Center where the U.S. citizen petitioner will act as the financial sponsor.
Family Based Immigration
Affidavit of Support
In both scenarios described above, the U.S. citizen petitioner must act as the financial sponsor. This step of the process requires the U.S. citizen to file an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to show enough income to support the foreign national parent in the United States. If the U.S. citizen does not have the required income, he/she can add a Joint Sponsor to the case.
Immigration Red Flags
USCIS Officers are trained to identify factors that will cause a denial of a petition and/or green card application. Things that complicate a case are U.S. citizen petitioners who are born out of wedlock, arrests or criminal convictions, and other violations of immigration law. It is important to speak to a licensed, immigration attorney before submitting a petition for a parent.
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Start your immigration journey with me by scheduling a consultation.” – Immigration Attorney Ingrid B. Perez