U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens to petition the government to have their non-citizen parents be given legal status as permanent residents. Such parents fall under an immigration category known as “immediate relatives.” This category allows the parents to receive their green cards faster than many others applying for a green card based on family relationships.
At Vestal Immigration Law, we help clients in the Davidson and Huntersville areas navigate the immigration system to successfully obtain green cards for their parents.
Age. Besides being a U.S. citizen, you must be at least 21 years of age when you sign and submit your petition for your parents. If you are not 21, even by a few days, the petition will be denied, and you will have to start afresh and spend additional money when you refile after turning 21.
Income. The law requires you to demonstrate that you have enough income or assets to support your parents should it become necessary. To show this, you must file proof that you are making at least 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines, in addition to being able to support your own family.
Eligibility. In their application for the green card based on your petition, your parents must show that they are not “inadmissible” on the several grounds of inadmissibility for all green card applicants. These include grounds such as having a criminal record, immigration violations, having a certain disease that presents a public health risk, and so on. It is important to consult with a family immigration lawyer to discuss your options should any of these grounds of ineligibility apply to your parents. It might be possible for an attorney to obtain a waiver of inadmissibility in certain situations to overcome this obstacle.
The process begins with you filing a correctly completed Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The petition is intended to show your status as a U.S. citizen and the child-parent relationship existing between you and your parents, otherwise referred to as the “beneficiaries” in immigration terms.
If your parents are outside the United States and the petition is approved, USCIS will notify the State Department, which, in turn, will contact your parents at the address provided in the petition to complete the processing of their green card at the U.S. consulate in the country where they live.
If your parents are in the U.S. and they legally entered the country, then they will apply for their green cards and complete the process without being required to leave the country to complete the process outside the U.S. In this situation, they will be applying and obtaining their green card under what is known as “adjustment of status.”
If you are in the process or are contemplating sponsoring your parents for a green card, contact us today and schedule an appointment to discuss how we can help you. Vestal Immigration Law regularly assists with family-based immigration matters.
We are dedicated to helping businesses, individuals, and families navigate the federal immigration system. The more you know, the more empowered you become.
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