Living abroad and away from family can be a huge stressor in your life. Traveling back and forth to visit family members, especially your parents, in other countries can take up a lot of your time and money. Luckily, there are solutions.
If you are a United States citizen through naturalization, the ability to get a green card for your parents and family is a huge bonus. The parent green card process can be a breeze by collecting the proper documentation.
All in all, the processing timeline for a parental green card via the two given processes can take anywhere from 10 months to 13 months, depending on the situation. Below, we will go over in more detail the two processes a green card can be obtained from and the green card for parents timeline with each specific form that is mandatory to be submitted.
Adjustment of Status – Your Parents Are Currently in the U.S.
Adjustment of status is the legal process of obtaining a green card when the person applying is currently in the country. For example, if you have a family that is living in the U.S. and seeking a green card, they will apply for a green card via adjustment of status.
This process requires the applicant to fill out a detailed application in order to be considered for a parent green card. The adjustment of the status timeline for a parent’s application will solely depend on each individual’s specific situation, including the family relationship.
I-485 Petition Processing
If the individuals are already in the U.S. while applying for a green card, they will need to file Form I-485: Adjustment of Status, along with Form I-130. Form I-485 will be sent in with your application to USCIS. Upon filing this form, the processing time can take anywhere from eight months to 14 months.
It’s important to note that this timeline will vary depending on the family relationship you have with the U.S. citizen you are applying under. Additionally, if this form is filed concurrently with Form I-130, the process can be sped up if Form I-130 is approved.
This is another important step one must take when it comes to applying for a green card as a parent of a U.S. citizen. Scheduling this biometrics appointment could take anywhere from four weeks to 12 weeks. Upon filing your application, you will receive an appointment notice, where you can then schedule your appointment.
From there, you will need to attend your appointment and collect the necessary forms that your green card for your parents’ application requires.
Attending the Interview
When it comes to filing for a green card for a parent of a U.S. citizen, the interview process is crucial. When applying for a green card through adjustment of status, the interview will be done at the closest USCIS office.
All in all, this interview will take close to 20 minutes.
Form I-765, Work Authorization Application
If you are someone who wishes to work in the U.S. while waiting for your green card approval, you will need to file Form I-765: Employment Authorization. This form will let prospective employers know that you are eligible to work. Generally, filing this form and receiving approval will take anywhere from five months to seven months.
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
When applying for a green card through adjustment of status, travel may be required within the time it takes to hear a response. If this is the case, you can file Form I-131. The processing times for this document will take close to three months to be approved.
Once approved, you are able to travel in and out of the United States while waiting for your green card application to be approved.
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
Form I-864 is a complicated document and has many steps with their own respective processing times. You will only need to file this form if you are a parent of a U.S. citizen who has been abused or wrongly treated by that same U.S. citizen.
Upon filling out all the necessary information, you will submit the form, which takes two months to process. From there, you will need to schedule a time to interview and will be asked to follow more steps, which can take more time.
Consular Processing – Your Parents Are Living Outside of the U.S.
Consular processing differs from adjustment of status due to the fact that the individual applying for the green card is outside the U.S. For instance, if you have family members living in their home countries, while you are abroad, a green card can still be applied for. However, they will need to apply and finalize all the requirements wherever they are located.
I-130 Petition Processing Through the U.S. Embassy or U.S. Consulate
Form I-130: Petition for Alien Relative is the first required step in submitting a family green card application. This form requires you to submit all the mandated documentation to show proof of relationship with the U.S. citizen you are applying.
The timeline for an I-130 is somewhat complicated. Filing this form is the first step in your green card application process. Once this form is approved, you will be a lawful permanent resident of the United States and can then freely apply for a green card for a parent. The I-130 petition for parents’ timeline can range from seven months to 11 months.
Immigrant Visa Application
Once your I-130 form is approved, USCIS will send your petition to the National Visa Center or NVC. From there, the State Department will open your case. Typically, more paperwork will be required for submission and can take anywhere from three to six months from start to finish.
Form DS-260 and Form DS-261
Form DS-260 is simply an immigrant visa application and can be completed and submitted online. Form DS-261 is also available to be filled out online and only requires you to fill out contact information.
These two forms can be filled out online quickly and will take the shortest amount of time to receive approval back. Generally, in three weeks, USCIS should process these forms.
Similar to adjustment of status, the biometrics appointment timeline, when done through consular processing, takes close to the same amount of time. Depending on the country you are applying in, the time to schedule and attend the appointment can take anywhere from six to 12 months.
Attending the Interview
As stated above, when the State Department opens your case, you will be asked to attend an interview. In this interview, you will be asked questions about the relationship you have with the U.S. citizen you are applying because of.
Because you are following consular processing, this interview will be carried out at the closest embassy or consulate in your respective country. The I-130 interview timeline process, from scheduling to approval, can take a minimum of three months.
Medical Exam Form I-693
Your green card medical exam must be finalized and submitted completely before receiving word on your green card application. Simply put, this exam is needed to establish that you are not inadmissible to the U.S. on the grounds of public health.
Upon completion of the medical exam, the respective doctor will need to sign off on your form. Once this is done, Form I-693 can be submitted.
Form I-864, Affidavit of Support
This form can help parents apply for a green card by showing they don’t need assistance from the U.S. government if they are granted citizenship. You must schedule an appointment and interview when your form gets approved. From there, this whole process can take one to two months.
Start Your Green Card Application for Your Parents Today!
Applying for a green card as a family member of the U.S. can be tricky sometimes, which is why the help of experienced immigration specialists can help. If you don’t want to file your green card paperwork alone, ImmigrationDirect can assist you and support you throughout the process.
Because the timeline for a parent’s green card can vary, having assistance and a skilled team by your side to answer any questions is ideal. For any questions you may have, contact us today.