If you are a U.S. citizen and are 21 years or older, you can apply for a green card for your parents.

The Green Card is an immigrant visa that turns the parents of U.S. citizens into legal permanent residents in the United States.

There is no limit on the number of green cards for parents issued each year, so there is no waiting list.

Step 1: Ensure that your father is eligible and not inadmissible.

To obtain a green card for your parents, they must be eligible and admissible to the U.S.

For your parents to be eligible, they must be your legal parents:

  • Biological parents,
  • Adoptive father,
  • Stepfather,
  • Father of an illegitimate child who was legitimated before turning 18, or
  • Father of an illegitimate child who was not legitimated before turning 18.

To be admissible, your father must not have received public benefits while living in the United States because it will be considered a Public Charge.

Some health issues will make your parents inadmissible from the start, including:

  • Communicable diseases,
  • Physical or mental disorders resulting in harmful behavior,
  • Substance abuse that may result in harmful behavior,
  • Failure to present vaccination records.

Step 2: Complete an immigration petition for your parents (the “beneficiary”).

Once you have confirmed that your parents are eligible, Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is the form you should fill out.

Step 3: Gather evidence that you have an “eligible relationship” with your parents.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will generally approve your I-130 petition once you prove that your father is indeed your father or your mother is indeed your mother.

An immigration attorney is the right person to help you gather the documentation to attach to the I-130 form.

Step 4: Complete the Form I-864 Affidavit of Support for your parents.

Once you have gathered all the required documents to clarify that you have an eligible relationship with your parents, you as the sponsor must submit Form I-864 to demonstrate that you are prepared to financially support them and they won’t have to rely on the U.S. government.

Step 5: Assist your parents in preparing documentation for the green card application.

There are two different paths to apply for permanent residency for your parents. The path to follow and the required supporting documents will depend on whether your parents are currently in the U.S. or not:

Adjustment of Status: If your parents are currently in the U.S., attach Form I-485. Consular Processing: If your parents live outside of the U.S., attach Form DS-261.

Step 6: Complete optional paperwork for your parents’ Green Card application.

If the application is made from within the U.S., there are additional benefits they can apply for while waiting for USCIS to approve their Green Card.

They can apply for authorization to work legally in the U.S. by submitting Form I-765.

They can also apply for authorization to leave and re-enter the U.S. while waiting for their application to be approved by submitting Form I-131.

Step 7: Form I-693: Report of Medical Examination and Vaccination Record.

If your parents live in the U.S., they must undergo a medical examination, including vaccinations, by a USCIS-designated doctor.

If they are abroad, the examination must be done by a doctor on the approved list in their respective countries.

The results will be given to them in a sealed envelope. Do not open or alter this envelope! USCIS and the Department of State will not accept any tampered or unsealed envelopes.

Your parents must bring this sealed envelope with them, unopened, to their Green Card or Visa interview.

Step 8: Submission of documents.

After submitting the permanent residency applications for adjustment of status or consular processing, your parents will receive a Form I-797C confirming that USCIS has received their application.

Finally, the approved I-130s are sent by USCIS to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing, and they will be asked to attend an interview.

Step 9: Interview for parents about the green card.

Once the National Visa Center has the required documents, they will schedule an interview for your parents. If they live abroad, the interview will be conducted at the nearest embassy or consulate.

For any parent already in the country with a non-immigrant visa, their interview will take place at the nearest USCIS local office.

The purpose of the interview is to verify the validity of the information presented.

The interview is the last step in the permanent residency application process for your parents; here, the officer can approve or deny the application.

Receiving a green card denial for your parents to live with you can be devastating for a family.

At Duque Immigration Law, PLLC, immigration attorneys in Miami, our expert immigration lawyers have the experience to make your dreams come true.

Contact us!

(1) 305 436 0155