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Can I Help My Parents Get a Green Card?
Mar 29, 2023

Can I Help My Parents Get a Green Card?

U.S. immigration law classifies parents of U.S. citizens as “immediate relatives,” which means there is no limit on the number of green cards given out in this category every year. This, in turn, means there is no waiting time for them to receive their green cards. However, even without a waiting list, there are many things that could go wrong with your parents getting a green card. At Villarrubia & Rosenberger, we make sure that is not the case for the clients we assist in the Indianapolis area.

Application Process for Parents to Receive U.S. Green Card

The process begins with the filing of a completed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition and supporting documents should show proof of your status as a U.S. citizen and the child-parent relationship that exists between you and your parents or “beneficiaries,” as the immigration law calls anyone receiving a green card or benefit from USCIS.

Once the I-130 petition is processed and approved, and assuming your parents live outside the US, USCIS will forward your file to a U.S. consulate in the country where your parents live. The consulate will then communicate with your parents and inform them how they can file their own required application forms and documents.

As part of the consideration of their green card application, you, as the sponsor, will need to provide proof that you are financially able to support both your own family and your parents when they migrate to the United States. This is typically done by your filing an Affidavit of Support in the form of USCIS Form I-864. You will attach proof of your income which must be 125% above the federal poverty guidelines.

Your parents will then be called for an interview, at which point their green cards should be approved if all the required documents and information are on file and there is no other basis to deny their green card application. The approving visa officer will then give your parents a package they will present at their point of entry to the United States.

Green Card Processing for Parents in the United States

If your parents are already in the U.S. and they legally entered, meaning they were inspected at the border and entered with a visa, then your parents can go through a process known as “adjustment of status” to obtain their green card. 

If your parents illegally entered the United States, meaning they were not inspected and admitted into the United States by a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, then they are not eligible for adjustment of status, and to get the green card, they must leave and complete the process outside of the United States, typically in their native country.

However, leaving the United States to do this brings with it the risk of being denied reentry to the United States for ten years, even with an approved green card petition. Should your parents be in this situation, meaning they entered without inspection, you would need to discuss this with an experienced immigration attorney as to what your options may be.

If you are in the Indianapolis area and wish to obtain a green card for your parents, contact us today for a consultation.




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