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How to Get a Green Card for Your Parents If You Are a U.S. Citizen

If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old, you can get green cards for your parents, since they are considered to be immediate relatives.

Under immigration laws, parents are viewed as immediate relatives. This is a great thing, since there is no limit to the number of green cards given out every year for this category. That means they will not have to join a lengthy waiting list, ensuring a quicker application process. Even so, there are several conditions they need to meet in order to qualify for a green card.

First, the U.S. citizen has to prove he or she has sufficient income or assets to support the parent/s once they get to the U.S. Next, the parents have to prove they meet all the guidelines for a green card. This means that they can be denied entry if they have a record of immigration violations or criminal convictions, or if they carry a disease that presents a public health risk, and so on. Once established they have a clean record and bill of health, you can jump-start the application process.

The U.S. citizen will be required to fill out a specialized form, also called Petition for Alien Relative, meant to prove his or her status as a citizen, as well as the child-parent relationship. Consequently, you will have to provide copies of your proof of citizenship along with your birth certificate, or similar proof of your parents' relationship to you. Every parent gets their own form, so you will have to submit two separate forms if you plan to petition for both parents.

Once the petition is approved, the USCIS will transfer the file to the National Visa Center for immigrant visa processing and later, to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy in your parents' home country and they will receive more information about what documents and forms they are required to fill out at this stage. At the same time, the U.S. citizen will have to submit an Affidavit of Support. Finally, each parent will be called in for an interview that will decide whether his/her immigrant visa is approved.

This privilege extends to adoptive parents and step parents, although the application will be more complicated. An experienced immigration attorney will guide you through the process and provide all the information you need to ensure things will go as smoothly as possible.

Do you have additional inquiries about the subject? Attorney Emmanuel V. Meimaris provides legal counsel on matters related to immigration, family law, real estate and business. Book a free consultation or call us at (781) 636-3636.

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