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Can a Green Card Holder Sponsor Parents?

If you are a foreign national with a green card in the United States, you may be interested in seeing if your family can also join you to live and work in the United States. It is not true that if one immigrant gets their green card in the United States, they can bring their extended family over (this is sometimes called “chain migration”). In this blog article, we’ll cover green card requirements for family-based applications and how to apply for a green card for your parents. Keep reading to understand the processes and limitations in the United States.

Can A Green Card Holder Sponsor Parents? 

The short answer to the above question is yes. You can get a green card for your parents if you are a green card holder yourself. However, there are a few limitations as the Unites States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will only let you petition or “sponsor” immediate family members. A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old to sponsor their parents. Please note that USCIS does not consider grandparents, cousins, aunts, uncles, and parents-in-law as extended family members. 

How to Apply for a Green Card for Parents 

If you are interested in obtaining a green card for your parents, your first step will be to file Form I-130 or “Petition for Alien Relative”. As part of the green card requirements for your parents, you will need to provide specific documentation to prove that you and your parents qualify for this type of visa. For example, you will need to provide a copy of your birth certificate that has your name and your parents’ names listed on it, a copy of your U.S. passport or your naturalization certificate if you are not born in the United States and a copy of your parent’s marriage certificate. These green card requirements may change slightly depending on whether or not your parents are stepparents or adoptive, so be sure to visit the USCIS website to confirm what documentation you need to provide.

If your parents are located outside of the USA, and their application has been approved, they will need to attend a green card interview in a U.S. consulate in their home country. They may also need to attend a medical exam and pay a fee for the interview. If all goes well, they will be granted their green card. If your parents are already in the United States and their application is approved, they can then file Form I-485 or “Adjustment of Status” together.

Green card for parents’ processing time can vary greatly depending on which country they are applying from. Countries like Mexico, India, China and the Philippines typically submit a high number of applications, so family members applying from those countries can expect to wait a longer time than others.

If you want to help your parents obtain their U.S. green cards, you should speak with an experienced immigration attorney. At Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC, we work together with our clients to get them through the U.S. immigration process and work hard to achieve the best result possible. Get in touch today to discuss your unique circumstances.