Bringing Your Parents Over to the U.S.

It’s natural to want to secure legal status for your parents. The good news is that, as long as you are a U.S. citizen, you have a way to do this through the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Unfortunately, there is not typically a way for lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to legally bring over their parents. 


Besides the requirement of being a U.S. citizen, you must be at least 21 to apply for a green card for one or both of your parents. Your parents are considered “immediate relatives” in the eyes of U.S. immigration law. This cuts down on the long waiting periods you sometimes hear about for extended family of U.S. citizens. 

Form I-130 

To begin the process of bringing over your parents to the U.S. for lawful permanent residency, you need to complete and submit Form I-130, referred to as “Petition for Alien Relative.” This form does not allow your parents to travel to the U.S. or obtain a visa. Instead, the purpose of Form I-130 is to simply establish the child-parent relationship between you and your parents. You need to submit a separate Form I-130 for each parent. 

Form I-864

You’ll also need to submit Form I-864 soon after you submit Form I-130. This is called the “Affidavit of Support” and assures the USCIS that your parents will not need to draw public funds in order to meet their basic needs once they come over. After you submit Form I-130, the U.S. consulate in your parents’ home country will let your parents know the documents and applications they need to submit. 

Form I-485

If your parents are already (lawfully) in the U.S., you are generally able to file Form I-485 to petition for adjustment of status. You may submit this form at the same time as Form I-130. You do not have to wait to receive Form I-797, which is the approval notice for Form I-130, before submitting Form I-485. Having your parents in the U.S. prior to filing Form I-130 won’t necessarily increase their chances of getting approved. In fact, securing a visa for your parents to come over to the U.S. for the sole purpose of keeping them here as lawful permanent residents is frowned upon by the USCIS. 

RelisLaw Wants to Help You

Submitting incomplete or insufficient applications costs you precious time and money when you’re trying to secure green cards for your parents. While the number of forms you need to submit aren’t too abundant, there are countless supporting documents you need to corral so the USCIS has what it needs. Our firm has decades of experience reuniting families scattered across the globe, and we’d be honored to do the same for you and your parents. Reach out to us soon to set up a free 10-minute consultation.

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We help people from around the world to live and work freely in the U.S., to achieve their dreams, unite families, or escape persecution. No matter what immigration service you need, RelisLaw will provide caring and dependable counsel to you and aggressive advocacy to vigorously fight for you using every available legal avenue. As a global firm, we work with people in countries around the world. We meet clients across the U.S., as well as in New York, Toronto, and Montréal. We also meet with clients globally, located in any country, via Skype and other platforms.

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