Green Card For Parents

Status as a United States citizen provides many benefits, but one of the most important for many people is the ability to bring family members to the U.S. to live as lawful permanent residents. Adult citizens are permitted to petition to bring their parents to the U.S. to live and work for as long as they want.

Unfortunately, the process of assisting your family with immigration is not as simple and straightforward as it might seem. Immigration laws require you to fulfill numerous requirements to demonstrate eligibility, and mistakes can lead to delays or denial of your application. Assistance from a knowledgeable immigration attorney can help prevent problems and make the process much less stressful.

At Odunlami Law, our team is made up of immigrants, and we have also helped our parents and families as well as many clients reunite in the U.S. We want to help your family achieve your immigration dreams just as we have. We offer experienced assistance and compassionate guidance throughout the immigration process.

Immediate Relative Immigration

The parents of U.S. citizens are considered “immediate relatives” for immigration purposes. This is a highly beneficial status because the number of visas for immediate relatives is not subject to quota limits each year. While some relatives may wait years for a visa to become available, parents of U.S. citizens will not be subject to delays due to quota limits. Step-parents and adoptive parents are also eligible for immigration under this category.

Because this is such a desirable category, immigration officials scrutinize applications and documentation very carefully. It is important to follow all requirements closely and respond to requests for information promptly.

Eligibility and Requirements

While the eligibility qualifications are easy to understand, they are not always easy to demonstrate. You can file an immigration petition on behalf of your parents if you are a citizen and you are at least 21-years-old, The challenge with this visa often involves proving the parental relationship. If you have a birth certificate showing your parents’ names, then the certificate and proof of your own citizenship will satisfy the basic documentation requirements to petition on behalf of your mother. However, to petition on behalf of your father, you will need additional documentation, depending on your situation:

  • Marriage certificate (if born while your parents were married)
  • Certificate of legitimation (if born while your parents were not married but paternity was established legally before you turned 18)
  • Evidence of an emotional or financial bond between you and your father (if born while your parents were not married and paternity was not legally established before you turned 18)

Presenting persuasive evidence to demonstrate a legitimate relationship existed can be challenging, but at Odunlami Law, we can help you prove that your relationship with your father satisfies legal requirements.

If you are bringing adoptive parents or a stepparent to the U.S., you will need additional documentation such as your adoption certificate and a description of the places lived with your adoptive parents, or a divorce decree and marriage certificate showing a legitimate relationship connected to you.

The Immigration Process

Once you have determined eligibility and gathered appropriate evidence, you file a petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) along with the documentation. If the agency needs additional information, they will contact you and your application will be delayed until you respond, so it is important to ensure that USCIS always has up-to-date contact information. We can help you keep organized and follow up if it appears that information may have been lost.

When USCIS approves the petition, the next steps depend on where your parent is located. For a parent who is already in the U.S., you can file an application to adjust their status to lawful permanent resident, and it may be possible to file that application at the same time as the petition for immigration. For a parent located outside the U.S., the petition and other materials will be forwarded to the State Department Visa Center, and your parent will complete processing at the embassy or consulate nearest to where they live.

You will need to file an Affidavit of Support pledging to provide financial support to your parent until they become a citizen or acquire sufficient work credits.

Parents are authorized to work once they obtain a visa. If they are already in the U.S. and waiting for an adjustment of status, they may apply for employment authorization and travel authorization while their application is pending. Our team can assist with any authorization you need to seek.

Let Odunlami Law Help You Get a Green Card for Your Parents

U.S. immigration laws and policies are confusing and subject to frequent changes. At Odunlami Law, we focus all our efforts on helping people immigrate to the U.S. legally, so we are always aware when new opportunities become available or when requirements change. Let us help you and your family reach your goals for immigration without unnecessary delays or stress. Contact our team today to get started. 

Schedule a consultation with an immigration attorney and get your case started today.
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