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Some of the most frequently asked questions in our office are always related to U. S. citizen petition for parents: If I am a U. S. citizen, can I petition for my parents? If you are a U. S. citizen looking for information on how you may petition for your relatives, you are in the right place. In this article we will answer your question and many others that may arise related to the subject.

Our immigration lawyers in New Jersey can help you in all matters related to U. S. family-based immigration. Curbelo Law has more than 10 years of experience in immigration law. Call us today and request a personalized and 100% confidential consultation

Guide to U. S. Citizen petition for parents in 2023

American citizens over the age of 21 can petition their parents (mother, father, or both) to succeed in living in the United States.

However, permanent residents cannot petition their parents to live permanently in the U. S.

If the father lives in the United States and does not present any inconvenience that affects his adjustment of status in the United States, the application for his Green Card will be approved much faster. However, it is important not to leave the country once the process has started, since it could affect your immigration goal and increase processing times.

how to petition my parents to live in the united states

In the event that the father lives in the United States and is unable make an adjustment of his current immigration status, the process can take over 10 years. In these cases, the process is usually completed outside the country.

If you had an immigration problem or have been declared inadmissible during this process, knowing how to apply for an immigration waiver to the United States will help you in this situation.

At Curbelo Law we focus on answering and providing our services in matters such as petitioning parents for american residency.

Requirements To petition My Parents If I Am An American Citizen

If you are looking to petition your parents in the United States, you will need to know that eligibility depends on whether we speak of a mother, father, and whether they are currently inside or outside of the country. 

Among the requirements necessary for a parent petition we find:

Mother Or Father Living Outside The U. S.

In order to bring your mother or father who are living outside the United States, immigration law requires that you have the following eligibility documents:

  • Have Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative .
  • 1 copy of the applicant’s birth certificate and that of his mother (both parents in case the petitioned one is the father).
  • 1 copy of your naturalization certificate, U. S. passport or your citizenship.
  • 1 Copy of the civil marriage certificate (only if requested from the father only, mothers are exempt from this document).

Children Not Recognized By The Father Born Out Of Wedlock

If you are a child not recognized by your father before the age of 18 and you were born out of wedlock to both parents, you will need:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • 1 copy of birth with your name and that of your parents.
  • 1 copy of certificate proving your citizenship in the country or your U. S. passport.
  • Have evidence of an emotional or financial connection to your father before you were married or turned 21 years old.

Children Recognized By The Father Born Out Of Wedlock

In case your parents are outside the U. S. and you were born out of wedlock but are a recognized child of your father, then you will require:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • 1 copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your father’s name.
  • 1 copy of the certificate of citizenship or U. S. passport, if you were not born in the United States.
  • Have evidence that you were recognized as a legitimate child before reaching 18 years of age. The laws of the state or country of origin are included. 

Petition For A Stepfather Or Stepmother 

In case you wish to bring your stepfather or stepmother to the United States, you will need to submit:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • 1 copy of the birth certificate showing both names of your biological parents.
  • 1 copy of your biological father’s civil marriage certificate to your stepfather, showing that the marriage was before your 18th birthday.
  • 1 copy of any documentation of divorce, death or marriage annulment where it is legally detailed that the marriage of your biological father or stepfather ended.

Petition For Adoptive Parents 

In order to bring the adoptive parents to live in the United States, you will need to have the following documents on hand:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • 1 copy of your birth certificate. 
  • 1 copy of citizenship or naturalization certification in case you were not born in the U. S.
  • 1 certified copy of the adoption certificate showing that the adoption process took place before you were 16 years old.
  • Have a statement showing the place and date where you have lived with your adoptive parent.

If I Am A U. S. Citizen And I Meet All The Requirements, How Can I petition My Parents?

In this case, you can petition your parents once you have sent all these documents to the corresponding office.

citizen son petitions his mother

To do this, you must:

  • Submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative to USCIS, and wait for a notification of acceptance or rejection.
  • Send the approved form(s) to the National Visa Center.
  • Obtain a recent medical examination and take it to the interview at the consulate or embassy of the country of origin where your parents live.
  • Once the immigrant visa is obtained, the parents must travel to the United States. Upon arrival, an immigration officer will stamp your passports if your Green Cards have been approved.

Can My Father Work While His Green Card Application Is Pending?

Yes, your parents can work in the United States even if your Green Card application is still pending. 

This is thanks to U. S. immigration laws that allow the following:

  • Parents will not need an authorization or employment permit as long as they have been admitted as immigrants and have an immigrant visa. 
  • If your parents are outside the United States, they will receive a stamp in their respective passports once they arrive in the United States.
    • This stamp verifies that your parents have permission to work within the U. S. while they wait for their Green Card or Permanent Residence. 
  • If your parents are within the U. S. and have applied for adjustment of status using Form I-485, they can work while the case is pending. 
  • If your parents will be traveling, they will need to request authorization with Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization and Form I-131, Application for Travel Document .
  • If your parents have minors abroad (their siblings), they cannot be included in the same petition to bring their parents to live in the United States.
how to get a job in the united states while being illegal

You may be interested in reviewing our article on how to get a work permit in the United States while being illegal to understand more about the importance of legality in this matter.

How Long Does It Take To petition My Parents If I Am A U. S. Citizen?

When an American citizen applies for a Green Card for their parents, this process can take at least 5 months, but it can also take up to 10 years.

The estimated time of this application depends on the immigration status of the father, mother or both, in addition to other immigration factors of the family.

You may be interested in knowing how to get a Green Card in its entirety and thus understand more fully the estimated time that such permission requires.

us parent petitions

On some occasions, this procedure is usually a complicated process in view of the parents’ eligibility, if they are considered inadmissible even with the immigration waiver, the process can take over 10 years.

Keep in mind that immigration waivers are not always guaranteed, some parents are unable to obtain it.

Likewise, parents who have lived illegally in the United States can further increase the time required to apply for this procedure.

For more information regarding illegal presence in the US, visit our related article how can an illegal immigrant become legal in the U. S.

In the event that USCIS approves the application in that situation, you will be able to complete the process outside the United States, but you will need to do so through consular processing.

How Much Does It Cost To petition My Parents?

The applicant must prove that he has sufficient economic income to be able to petition his parents under Form I-864, Affidavit of Economic Sponsorship under section 213A of the Act .

This law requires the sponsor to have a minimum income of 125% above the FPL, Federal Poverty Level.

Currently the FPL stands at about $ 12,880 USD for each individual. If the applicant does not meet this requirement, the economic capacity will be determined based on the assets, such as:

  • Current accounts.
  • Savings account.
  • Properties.
  • Actions.
  • Real estate.

Frequently Asked Questions To petition Parents If you Are A U. S. Citizen

Below we will answer many of the questions that we usually receive in the immigration offices of Curbelo Law. If you do not find an answer to yours, do not hesitate to contact us and let us know your situation. We are Latino lawyers with over 10 years of experience in these procedures.

What Can I Do If My Application To petition My Parents Is Denied?

If you were denied your visa petition to bring your parents to the United States, in the same letter where you are notified of the rejection, they will tell you how and when you can appeal this decision.

Once you submit the Appeal Form and pay the applicable fee, the appeal process will be forwarded to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

The most advisable thing in these cases is that you have the help of a lawyer so that you have the right advice on how to appeal an immigration decision.

What Should I demonstrate Before petitioning My Parents?

  • You must be over 21 years old.
  • You must be able to show that you have sufficient financial income.
  • Siblings abroad cannot be included in the petition, only your parents.
    • In case you want to apply for your siblings, you will need a separate application from this one. 
  • If you became a U. S. citizen under Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, you will not be able to petition your parents.

Can My Parents Live In The U. S. While Their Green Card Is Pending?

Your parents can live in the U. S. while their Green Card is pending as long as you have applied for it through Adjustment of Status.

In the event that one of your parents needs to leave the country and their Green Card is pending, you can request an advance parole before leaving the United States.

If I Have A Green Card, Can I Apply For A Green Card For My Parents?

A Green Card holder cannot apply for another green card for their parents, only American citizens over 21 years of age can apply for permanent residence for their mother, father or both.

The only case in which a Green Card holder can request another for an immediate relative is when it is requested for the spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.

What Other Family Members Can I petition For If I Am An American Citizen?

What Happens If My Parents Don’t Want To Live In The United States While They Wait For The Green Card?

The petitioners’ parents may leave the United States if they wish, however, it is not recommended that they leave the country for more than 6 months as this may be considered as a sign that they are not interested in living in the country.

Curbelo Law Helps You In The Process Of petitioning Your Parents

Now you know a lot more about U. S. citizen petition for parents. If you are looking for legal advice for this type of petition, our attorneys at Curbelo Law located in New Jersey will help you throughout this process.

Whether you need us to help you in the process to bring your parents, petition your spouse or your child, don’t hesitate and call us today and get a one-on-one consultation with immigration experts.