Sponsoring your Parent for a
Green Card is a two-step process.
The first step is the "Immigrant Petition" which establishes that a qualifying relationship exists between the sponsor and the foreign parent. The second step is the application for the Green Card. If the foreign parent is in the U.S., then it may be possible to file the Immigrant Petition and Green Card Application at the same time.
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Definition of Key Terms
These key terms are highlighted in blue on this page to help clarify the application process.
Form I-130. Step 1 of the family-sponsorship process
Immigrant Visa (parent is outside the US) or Adjustment of Status (parent is inside the US). Step 2 of the family-sponsorship process
The document issued by a foreign consulate that allows the bearer to enter the U.S. in "Immigrant Status." The bearer becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident upon entry into the U.S.
Adjustment of Status
The process of obtaining a "Green Card" if you are already inside the U.S.
The process of filing the Immigrant Petition and Adjustment of Status application at the same time.
The US Citizen who files Form I-130 on behalf of a parent
U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Services
(USCIS, formerly the INS)
The agency that processes the Immigrant Petition. It is also the agency that processes the Green Card Application if the applicant is applying in the U.S.
Department of State (DOS)
The agency that processes the Green Card Application if the applicant is applying outside the U.S.
Lawful Permanent Resident Status
Green Card Status
In order to file an Immigrant Petition for your parent, you must be a U.S. Citizen and you must be at least 21 years of age. If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident, you are not eligible to sponsor your parent for "Green Card" Status.
Sponsoring your parent for a "Green Card" Status is a two-step process. The first step is filing the Immigrant Petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly the INS). Click here to get started with the Immigrant Petition.
The second step in the process is applying for the "Green Card." If your parent is currently in the U.S., you can combine these steps into one by filing the Immigrant Petition and "Green Card" application at the same time. This is known as "concurrent filing". Complete our Questionnaire. Find out more about what it takes to sponsor your parent for a "Green Card". Purchase our step-by-step guide to Green Card Through Family Sponsorship, which provides everything you need to know to navigate the process.
If your parent is outside the U.S., then the "Green Card" application will be made at a U.S. consulate in his or her country of residence. Does your parent already have an Approved Immigrant Petition? Immigration Direct offers valuable information about the Immigrant Visa Process and Interview. Click here to get our Immigrant Visa e-kit, which provides an easy-to-understand overview of the Immigrant Visa process from start to finish. Click here to get our DVD, with important tips on preparing for the Immigrant Visa Interview.
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