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How to Obtain a Green Card for Your Parents

December 6th, 2010 by Eleanor Gaskin

The Green Card parents application process enables the parent(s) of a U.S. citizen to obtain a green card or lawful permanent residence in the United States.

Let us now go through the steps involved in the Green Card Parents Application Process.

Step 1: Ensure that you are eligible to proceed with the Green Card Parents Application Process.

To be eligible you should be:

  • a United States citizen, born in the United States or in any of its underlying territories, or naturalized, or born in any foreign land to a U.S. parent; and
  • be 21years of age or older.

Step 2: Your parents should fall into any one of the following categories:

  • a natural father or mother; or
  • a stepfather or stepmother, provided they were married before you had turned 18 years of age; or
  • an adopted father or mother, provided you were adopted before you had turned 16 years of age.

Step 3: Filing the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.

If you are eligible to sponsor your foreign national parent(s), you should file Form I-130 to request an immigrant visa for your parents.

Supporting Documents that you need to include with your Form I-130 Petition:

Include proof that you are a U.S. citizen, which can include a copy of your birth certificate, a copy of your U.S. passport, a copy of your Certificate of Naturalization (if you became a U.S. citizen by filing Form N-400) or a copy of your Certificate of Citizenship;

Depending on what category your parents fall in, you must include:

  • A birth certificate which acts as a proof that your parent is your natural father or mother.
  • Proof of name change if your parents have a different last name.
  • A copy of your natural parents’ marriage certificate (which is not needed if you are petitioning for your mother)
  • Proof of your emotional ties with your natural father if you were illegitimate up to 18 years of age, such as proof that you spend time together and are keeping in contact, such as photographs and letters;
  • If you were legitimated before you turned 18 years then attach the necessary proof, such as court documents.
  • Marriage certificate of your stepfather or stepmother (to your biological parent).
  • If either of your parents had divorced then attach proof of all their previous marriages. This may include a divorce or annulment decree or a death certificate in some cases.
  • If you were adopted before you had turned 16 years of age then attach an adoption decree.
  • Attach a comprehensive statement that lists all the places that you had lived with your adoptive parent.

Submit the form to the USCIS service center which has jurisdiction over your area. Include the signed and dated Form I-130 petition, all supporting documents and a check that covers all the necessary filing fees. Remember that if you are sponsoring both parents, then you have to file a separate petition for each.

Step 4: Last step in the Green Card parents application process.

When your I 130 petition is approved your parent or the beneficiary may apply for a green card. If they are outside the United States then they can apply for an immigrant visa at the nearest US embassy or consulate, allowing them to immigrate to the United States. If the parent or beneficiary is already in the United States, they may apply for an adjustment of status by filing Form I-485, Application for Adjustment of Status, leading, if approved, to Lawful Permanent Residence.

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