How to Sponsor my Parents for an Immigrant Visa/Green Card | Immigration Law group, LLC

How to Sponsor my Parents for an Immigrant Visa/Green Card

Do you want to reunite with your parents overseas and let them see their grandchildren in the U.S.? If they are currently in the U.S. visiting, did you know they may be eligible to stay and apply for adjustment of status? So long as you are a U.S. citizen, and at least 21 years old, you can sponsor your parents by filing form I-130 with USCIS to receive their Immigrant Visa/Green Card. However, permanent U.S. citizen son/daughter residents – green card holders – may not submit form I-130 petition to bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S. If you are a green card holder, your best option is to file form N-400 to naturalize to become a U.S. citizen. Then, you will be able to file for your parents.

Many immigrants who live in the United States are always seeking advice and guidance on how to bring their parents to the U.S. either to visit or live permanently. They want to petition for a green card, which also refers to sponsoring them. While it is advisable to consult with an experienced lawyer about your specific situation, this article will give you some vital insights about the entire process of bringing your parent to the U.S.

Steps a U.S. Citizen Son/Daughter Should Take to Get Their Foreign National Parents to The U.S:

If you’re a U.S. citizen son/daughter of at least 21 years of age, there are several steps you need to take to get your foreign national parents to the U.S. Here is a breakdown describing the steps and the required documents you should submit, depending on your parents’ location.

1. Your father lives outside the U.S. and Needs an Immigrant Visa/Green Card

• Form I-130
• A birth certificate copy that shows your name and the names of both your parents.
• A marriage certificate that proves your parents are legally married.
• A Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport, if you were not born in the U.S. or Certificate of Citizenship.

2. Your mother lives outside the U.S. and Needs an Immigrant Visa/Green Card

• Form I-130
• A birth certificate that has your name and that of your mother.
• A Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport, if you were not born in the U.S.

3. Your father lives outside the U.S., you were born out of wedlock and your father didn’t legitimize you before your 18th birthday.

• Form I-130
• A birth certificate that has your name and that of your father.
• Evidence to prove that there existed a financial or emotional bond between you and your father before you reached the age of 21 or get married, whichever came first.
• A Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport, if you were not born in the U.S. or Citizenship.

4. Your father lives outside the U.S., you were born out of wedlock and your father legitimated you before your 18th birthday.

• Form I-130
• A birth certificate that has your name and that of your father.
• Evidence to prove that your father legitimated you before your 18th birthday through the laws of your country/state, the marriage of natural parents, or the laws of your father’s country/state.
• A Certificate of Naturalization, or U.S. passport, if you were not born in the U.S. or Citizenship.

5. Filing a petition to bring your step-parent to live in the U.S.

• Form I-130
• A birth certificate that has your name and those of your birth parents.
• A civil marriage certificate that proves your birth parent was legally married to your step-parent, and that they got married before your 18th birthday.
• Copies of documents such as death certificates, annulment decrees or divorce decrees to prove that any marriage entered into by your birth parent or step-parent ended legally.

6. Filing a petition to bring your adoptive parent to live in the U.S.

• Form I-130
• Birth certificate
• A certified adoption certificate that proves the adoption occurred before your 16th birthday.
• A statement that clearly shows the places and dates you lived together with your adoptive parent.
• A Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship if you were not born in the U.S.

Note: If you or your foreign national parent’s name has ever been changed, in the past, it is important to include proof of the legal name change in documents such as divorce decrees, court judgment of the name change, and marriage certificate. All these documents should be submitted as photocopies and not originals.

To successfully file a petition to bring your parents to the United States, the immigrant visa must be available based on the date the application for the immigrant visa was filed (“priority date”). This is possible because visas in this category are usually processed much faster and thus are immediately available. Remember, if you have been adopted legally, you can’t petition for your birth parent to come to the United States. This excludes your adoptive parent or step-parent.

How to Sponsor my Parents for an Immigrant Visa/Green Card? File the Form I-130 Petition

After about 8-9 months from filing, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will notify you whether your filed petition was approved or denied. Your parent will be notified to visit the Local U.S. consulate for visa processing if he/she is outside the U.S. when the petition gets approved.  You will also be required to submit form I-864 as a financial sponsor.  Your parent will need to submit documents to the National Visa Center prior to the scheduled immigrant visa interview.

Your parent may be eligible to file Form-I-485 in order to adjust status or apply to register for permanent residence if he/she is currently in the U.S. as you file Form I-130.  This is known as the “one-step” concurrent filing where you may file the Form I-130 together with Form I-485 for your parent’s adjustment of status application.

Employment Authorization

Once your parents have been admitted as immigrants with their immigrant visas, they don’t need to apply for work permit also referred to as employment authorization. Upon arrival in the U.S., your parents will receive a passport stamp to prove that they’re allowed to work until their Permanent Resident Cards have been received.

If your parents are currently in the U.S., they are allowed to apply for travel and work authorization while the permanent resident status adjustment filing, through Form I-485, is pending.

Ensure your parents use Form I-131 to apply for travel authorization and Form I-765 to apply for employment by filing them together with the concurrent filing of Form I-130 and Form I-485.

Note: The fee to adjust status for Form I-485 will cover Form I-131 and Form I-765 until a decision is reached concerning the application for travel and work authorization, respectively.

It is important to remember that if you have siblings overseas, they’ll not be sponsored in the Family-based green card petition to bring your parents in the U.S.  Your parent can file a new petition to bring your siblings once they become permanent residents.  The wait time for that process can take many years based on current processing times.

What If Your Petition Is Denied?

If your petition to bring your parents to the United States has been denied by the USCIS, you can still appeal the decision. Your denial letter will have details on how you can appeal. It will also tell you how much time you have to file the appeal. Your appeal will be forwarded to the Board of Immigration Appeals once your appeal form and required fee have been fully processed.

The Process of Getting Family-Based Immigrant Visa/Green Card

Under American immigration laws, your parents are considered immediate relatives’. This means that the application process doesn’t have a long waiting list. However, you need to be a financial sponsor for your parents.  This means that at 125% of the United States poverty guidelines, you need to show proof, through assets or income that you are capable of supporting your parents and your family.

This is to make sure your parents are not admissible as people who are likely to receive government assistance or as likely “public charges”. Form I-864P has all the details you need to know about the current U.S. poverty guidelines.

Additionally, your parents can also be denied green cards if they’re inadmissible based on other factors such as having a record of immigration violations, having a dangerous mental or physical disorder, carrying a disease that may pose a risk to the general public or criminal convictions.

The Visa Application Process For A Immigrant Visa/Green Card

For your parents to receive permanent residence, it is mandatory that you go through the application process as required by law to receive an Immigrant Visa/Green Card.  The application process involves two main steps: First, you must get approval from the USCIS for your immigrant visa petition for your parents. This is the Form I-130 petition that must be completed in order to start the process.  Second, if your parent lives outside the U.S., they will be notified by the local U.S. consulate to submit an online DS-260 application, submit documents, and undergo an interview before the immigrant visa is processed.  But, if your parent is currently living in the U.S. legally, he/she must fill out Form I-485 to adjust his/her status. The following basic requirements must be met for the status adjustment to be completed:

• Your parent must have entered the U.S. legally
• Your parent must be physically present in the U.S.
• Your parent’s immigration petition must have been fully approved
• No change in circumstances such as the death of the sponsor

Filling out the Petition for Alien Relative form also called Form I-130 is required to prove that there exists a child-parent relationship between you and your parent and that you’re a U.S. citizen son/daughter. Therefore, when filing the petition to bring your parents to the U.S., you have to include all the necessary documents depending on your situation (as mentioned above).

You will be required to file separate I-130 petitions if you intend to bring both foreign national parents. At this stage, after the U.S. consulate has communicated to your parents to submit their application to come to the U.S., you’re required to submit an Affidavit of Support Form I-864. The consulate will schedule an interview with your parents and the immigrant visa to enter the U.S. and become permanent residents should be approved and they will receive an Immigrant Visa/Green Card.

Adjusting Status for Parents in The United States So They Can Receive An Immigrant Visa/Green Card

If your parents entered the United States legally with a visa, they can adjust their status as your immediate relatives. Meaning, they can apply for a green card, if they’re currently in the United States, without leaving the U.S.  The process of getting a green card in this situation is called “adjustment of status.” Moreover, you can concurrently submit your Form I-130 with Form I-485 without waiting for the approval of the former. If your Form I-130 was already previously filed and been approved, however, you can simply submit your Form 1-797 approval notice along with the adjustment of a status packet.

What If Your Parents Don’t Want to Live In The U.S. Year-Round?

Contrary to a common misconception, there is no minimum amount of time for your parents to live in the U.S. in order to avoid “abandonment of residence” issues. The immigration officials at the border can revoke your parents’ green cards and deny them entry even if they left the U.S. for a short time.

Furthermore, longer trips of more than six outside the United States are likely to raise questions. And, a longer trip of more than a year will raise a presumption that your parents decided to abandon their residence.  Prior to leaving the U.S., they should be applying for a re-entry permit if they know they will need to be outside the U.S. for over a year.

Therefore, it is wrong to assume that obtaining a Family-based green card for your parents facilitates long visits and easy travel. The United States immigration laws require that green card holders make their permanent home in the U.S.

Paying the USCIS Immigration Fee

You must pay the immigration fee for your foreign national parent to come to the U.S. The immigrant fee is $220 and recovers the USCIS costs of immigrant visas issued by the Department of State at U.S. Consulates and Embassies.

The fee covers the cost of processing, filing, and maintaining of the immigrant visa packets. It also covers the cost of producing Permanent Resident Cards. In order to receive an immigrant visa, foreign nationals are encouraged to pay their immigrant fee online before they depart for the United States.

If you have additional questions or would like to find out more about the process to bring your parents to the U.S. contact our firm for a consultation by contacting Immigration Law Group, LLC or by calling 866 691 9894

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