Green Cards for Parents of US Citizens: How You Can Qualify

For any questions about Green Cards for parents of US Citizens and how you can qualify, contact an immigration attorney. Contact Manji Law, P.C. for answers.

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Atlanta Immigration Attorney Jameel Manji

Author: Jameel Manji, Founder, Manji Law, P.C.

Mr. Manji founded Manji Law in 2016 to follow his passion of helping people navigate the complicated immigration system. Mr. Manji graduated from Georgia State University College of Law and received Master of Taxation from the Georgia State’s J. Mack Robinson College of Business. Published on: January 10, 2023.

Manji Law is your complete immigration solution. If you are seeking assistance with the Atlanta Immigration Court, please give us a call. Manji Law can provide valuable insight, assistance, and a guiding hand to help you achieve your goals.

Green Cards for US Citizens’ Immediate Families


Becoming a lawful permanent resident is possible based on your close family relationship with a U.S. citizen.

Applicants whose parent is a U.S. citizen are classified as “immediate relatives.” If the citizen “child” is 21 or older, they can apply for their parent’s green card.


Eligibility Requirements

This type of immigrant visa falls under the family-based green card category. The sponsoring child can be a son or a daughter. Green cards for immediate relatives are not subject to permanent residence annual number quotas that affect preference relative categories. It means that visas are always readily available for applicants in this category, and the processing time is usually only 9 to 13 months.

Parents of US citizens who entered the U.S. lawfully do not need to leave the country in order to apply for their green card. Those who entered illegally must leave the U.S. and apply at the American embassy in their home country, where they will be interviewed before becoming lawful permanent residents.

If you need immigration help in Atlanta, GA, including contacting USCIS, Atlanta, we will be happy to assist you.

An Outline of the Process


Process for When Parents are Living in the U.S.

Fill out and file the Form I-130 visa petition for each parent as the first step in the visa application process. You will need to prove your relationship with your parents through a birth certificate or adoption certificate. You will also need to verify your citizenship (since it is a qualification requirement). Additionally, you will be required to prepare and submit an affidavit of support.

The next step in the process is for the parents to have their fingerprints taken and undergo a medical examination. If USCIS approves your petition, you must submit form I-485 to the USCIS if you are inside the country or a visa application to the US State Department if you are abroad.

Applicants who are already in the United States can submit Form I-130 along with Form I-485 and the rest of the USCIS application for “adjustment of status” to USCIS at the same time. Once USCIS has approved the adjustment of status application, typically after an in-person interview, the green card applicant will receive lawful permanent resident status. This is sometimes referred to as “one-step adjustment.”

The Process of Obtaining a Visa for Parents Living Abroad

Generally, the same procedure followed by applicants within the US is followed by those outside of the US. However, if USCIS approves your parents visa application, they will be required to attend an immigration interview which will be held at a US embassy or consulate in their country of residence.

The process is slightly different and takes a bit longer when the parents are living outside of the U.S. at the time of the application. The process takes approximately twelve to eighteen months.

USCIS will then review the applications and, if approved, will be in touch with your parents to advise them on what they need to take to their immigration interview, which will be held at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

If your parents’ visas are approved, they are given six months within which to enter the US. After arriving in the US, they will be interviewed by immigration officers, who will review their paperwork. They will be granted legal entry as lawful permanent residents if everything is in order.


A Summary of the Documents You Need to Submit

When making your green card application, you need to ensure that you supply the following documentation:

  • Passports for parent applicants that are valid for at least six months after entry into the country
  • Birth certificate for each applying parent
  • Marriage certificate, if parents are still married
  • Proof of termination of marriage if parents are no longer married
  • An affidavit of support for each parent that is applying
  • The official immigration medical examination form issued after the medical exam
  • Two passport-sized photographs of each parent
  • Any other documents you believe will add to the strength of your case


More About The Affidavit of Support

The signatory of the affidavit of support accepts financial responsibility for the parents applying for a green card. The person who signs the affidavit of support is also called the “sponsor.”

The undertaking to support is legally enforceable against the sponsor and normally lasts until the applicant attains U.S. citizenship. If the parents are the beneficiaries of any form of state support during the time the affidavit is enforceable, the state can demand that the sponsor reimburses it.

The forms can be downloaded at the USCIS website. If you need assistance with the process, it is best to consult a seasoned immigration lawyer.

Your Attorney Can Help

Changing regulations and the complexity of the immigration process can make the process seem daunting at times. In addition to being up to date on all recent developments, a highly skilled immigration lawyer will guide you through the process and regulations you need to follow.

Whether you need a family-based adjustment of status or need to know how long it takes to renew a green card, we are here to help. We provide a full range of citizenship and immigration services.

Different family relationships require different applications, which we can advise on. Furthermore, we can assist with daily first preference visas, green card lottery applications, applications for more distant relatives, and preference category visa applications. Our firm assists clients with a full range of immigration visas and can assist you in converting your status.

Call us today to schedule a consultation. We have been successful in helping thousands of green card holders to immigrate to the U.S. We would love to help you achieve your American dream!