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How to Petition My Parents as a U.S. Citizen?

If you were recently granted U.S. citizenship – congratulations! You may now wonder how to bring your parents or loved ones over to the United States on their own green cards. In this blog article, we’ll cover some of the most common questions when it comes to petitioning for a parent such as what are the requirements to petition my parents, the steps you can expect to go through when petitioning for a parent, and how much does it cost to petition my parents? Keep reading to learn more!

Requirements to Petition My Parents

The good news is that if you are a U.S. citizen and are at least 21 years old, you can petition for your parents’ green cards. Under U.S. immigration law, parents are considered “immediate relatives” and therefore there is no annual limit on the number of green cards given to this type of petitioner. For further clarity, below is a list of what the U.S. government considers “legal parents”:

  • Adoptive mother or father
  • Stepparents
  • Birth parents
  • Father of a child born out of wedlock and legitimized before turning 18 years old
  • A father to a child born out of wedlock who hasn’t been legitimized

Be aware that you will need to prove to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that you have enough money to support your parents at 125% of the federal poverty level while providing for your own family. This ensures that your parents do not become “public charges” who will need assistance from the government to survive. Your parents could also be denied a green card if they have a criminal background in another country or have past immigration infractions, the presence of a severe mental or physical problem is evident, or they have an illness that poses a public health concern.

Steps for Petitioning for a Parent

If you and your parents still wish to move forward, the following steps need to be followed to get a green card for your parents.

  • Fill out Form I-130. This form is more commonly known as Petition for Alien Relative. You will also need to provide proof of your citizenship and a copy of your birth certificate with your parents’ names on it. You will need to file separate Form I-130 for each parent.
  • File Form I-864. Once you have submitted the forms to petition for your parents to the U.S. consulate in their native country, they should receive instructions from the consulate or embassy soon afterward with details on what documentation they need to provide. You, the U.S. citizen, will also need to file an Affidavit of Support to the USCIS, also known as Form I-864.
  • Wait for an Interview. Next, your parents will need to wait for an interview with the U.S. consulate or embassy in their home country. After your parents go in for their interview and your relationship is verified, they will be issued a green card and be able to enter the U.S. as permanent residents. If their visa is refused, you will receive a rejection letter that will explain how to file an appeal and how much time you must file said appeal.

How Much Does It Cost to Petition My Parents?

The government filing fees for a family-based green card is $1,760 for an applicant living in the United States and $1,200 for an applicant living outside of the United States. This cost does not include the usual cost of the required medical examination, which can vary by provider.

Are you looking to bring your parents or other loved ones over to the United States? Dominguez Law Firm, PLLC is dedicated to serving the immigrant community and has a firm belief that no one should have to navigate this process alone. Get in touch today to discuss your specific immigration needs.