U.S. citizens are allowed under U.S. immigration law to sponsor their parents for a green card, provided certain requirements discussed below are met. If the parents are in the U.S. already in some other visa status or even without any status, they may be able to apply and obtain a green card under what is known as “adjustment of status.” This is a process through which an individual in the U.S. can apply and obtain a green card here without being required to leave the country and complete the green card process outside of the U.S. Not everyone qualifies for this and it is improper to enter the United States as a non-immigrant with the intent to adjust your status, so please understand the rules before you make major decisions with your parents. At Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, we have family immigration lawyers in Salinas who routinely assist U.S. citizens in obtaining green cards for their parents.
To obtain a green card for a parent starts with the U.S. citizen filing an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative (I-130) with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). It takes USCIS approximately 5 to 12 months to approve the I-130 Petition, and then the next phase of the process can either be consular processing outside of the United States, or if the parent meets the requirements for Adjustment of Status, that application can be sent along with the Petition and be adjudicated at the same time. The I-130 petition must be accompanied by enough evidence to prove the existence of the relationship between the parent and the U.S. citizen.
Additional requirements that must be met are as follows:
Please note you must be at least 21 years of age to petition for your parents as a U.S. citizen.
If your parents are in the U.S., and they otherwise meet the requirements for Adjustment of Status, you can file both your I-130 petition and their I-485 Application to Register Permanent Residents or Adjust Status at the same time. If you are filing for both parents, you must file and I-130 and Form I-485 for each parent and pay the required fees for each. Form I-130 and Form I-485 are filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processing center for the area where you live.
If your parents are outside the U.S., then you will file the Form I-130 petition first with USCIS, where it will be processed and approved before your parent can apply for their green card. In this case, they will apply for the green card under what is known as “consular processing.” This means they will apply for their green card at the U.S. embassy in the country where they live or at the nearest U.S. consulate.
The consular processing starts when USCIS approves the I-130 petition and notifies the National Visa Center (NVC), which then notifies the parent of the U.S. citizen to start processing their green card application.
If you are a U.S. citizen in the Salinas area and wish to sponsor your parent for a green card, contact us today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you. The firm of Miranda, Magden & Miranda, LLP, can assist you.
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