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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? Whether you are an American citizen, 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 successful experience helping families reunite with their loved ones abroad. Call today and request a personalized and completely confidential consultation.

Guide To U. S. Citizen Petition For Parents In 2024

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

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

  • If the parents live in the United States and do not have any problems that affect their adjustment of status in the United States: The application for the Green Card will be approved in a faster time. It is important not to leave the country once the process has started, since it could affect your immigration goals.
  • If the parents live in the U. S. and cannot adjust their immigration status: The process can take more than 10 years. In these cases the process is usually completed abroad.
how to petition my parents to live in the united states

If you had an immigration problem or have been declared inadmissible during this process, knowing how to apply for an immigration waiver of inadmissibility will help you in this scenario.

At Curbelo Law we focus on answering and providing our services to these types of matters regarding U. S. citizen petition for parents. Don’t hesitate to contact us today and let us know your legal needs.

Requirements To Petition My Parents If I Am An American Citizen

If you are looking for how to petition to bring your parents to the the United States, you should know that eligibility depends on whether you are a mother, father, and live inside or outside the country. 

Among the necessary requirements for a parent petition we find the following:

Mother Or Father Living Outside The U. S.

To bring a mother or father who is living outside the United States, immigration law requires that they have the following eligibility documents:

  • Form I-130, petition for foreign relative.
  • Copy of the birth certificate of the applicant and that of their mother (both parents in case the petitioned person is the father).
  • Copy of the civil marriage certificate (only if the petition is for your father, mothers are exempt from this document).
  • Copy of naturalization certificate, U. S. passport or your citizenship.

Can’t find your U. S. citizen certification? Don’t panic, this document can be recovered. Learn more about this topic in our article: “I lost my US citizenship certificate.”

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.
  • Birth copy with your name and that of your parents.
  • Copy of certificate proving your citizenship in the country or your U. S. passport.
  • Evidence of an emotional or financial connection to your father before you married or turned 21 years of age.
marriage based green card interview questions

Did you know that immigrants can get married in the US? However, they must successfully complete a few marriage-based Green Card interview questions. If they do not succeed, they must complete the stokes interview.

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 as a recognized child of your father, then you will require:

  • Form I-130.
  • Copy of your birth certificate showing your name and that of your father.
  • Copy of U. S. citizenship certificate or passport, if not born in the U. S.
  • 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 Stepparent 

In case the applicants wish to bring their stepfather or stepmother to the U. S. they will need to submit:

  • Form I-130.
  • Copy of birth certificate showing both names of your biological parents.
  • Copy of the civil marriage certificate of your biological father with your stepfather, showing that the marriage occurred before the applicant child turned 18 years of age.
  • Copy of any divorce, death, or annulment documentation legally detailing that your biological parent’s or stepparent’s marriage ended.

Petition For Adoptive Parents 

To bring the adoptive parents to live in the U. S, it will be necessary to have the following documents on hand:

  • Form I-130.
  • Copy of your birth certificate. 
  • Copy of citizenship or naturalization certification if the child was not born in the U. S.
  • Certified copy of the adoption certificate showing that the adoption process took place before the child was 16 years of age.
  • Have a statement showing the place and date where the applicant child’s have lived with their adoptive parent.

This answers “what do I need to petition my parents,” another common FAQ we get in the office. Now, remember that this blog is only general informational. It will help you learn much more about the subject but in no case should it be taken as a guide for your personal scenario and even less as an attorney-client relationship.

citizen son petitions his mother

If you need specific information about your case, do not hesitate to contact us. Our attorneys Carolina and Sharon have been reuniting immigrants with their loved ones for more than a decade. Plus, you can speak Spanish with us. Attorney Carolina Curbelo is of Cuban origin and both she and her Latino team can assist you in both Spanish and English.

If I Am An American Citizen And I Meet All The Requirements, How Can I Petition to Bring My Parents?

In this case, parents may be asked to contact the appropriate office once the following steps have been completed:

  1. File Form I-130 with USCIS, and wait for a notification of acceptance or denial.
    • If the parents live outside the U. S, USCIS will notify them that they must go to the nearest local consulate.
    • If the parents are inside the United States, they can process Form I-485, application for permanent residence or adjustment of status along with Form I-130.
  2. Submit the approved forms to the National Visa Center (NVC).
  3. Obtain a recent medical examination and bring it to the interview at the consulate or embassy of the country of origin where the parents live.
  4. 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 were 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.

You may be interested in reviewing our blog on how to get a job 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 to bring My Parents If I Am An American Citizen?

When an American citizen applies for a Green Card for their parents, this process can take between 11 and 25 months or even longer.

It should be noted that 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 relief requires.

us parent petitions

Considerations To Take Into Account

The process can become complicated depending on the eligibility of the parents; even with an immigration waiver (if inadmissible), the process can take more than 10 years.

Keep in mind that an immigration waiver is 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 it takes to request this procedure.

For more information regarding illegal presence in the U. S, 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 applicants must prove that they have sufficient economic income to be able to petition their parents under Form I-864, Affidavit of Financial Support. 

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

Currently, the FPL is positioned at about $14,580 USD for each individual. If the applicant does not meet this requirement, economic capacity will be determined based on assets, such as:

  • Current accounts.
  • Savings account.
  • Properties.
  • Stocks.

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding U. S. citizen petitions for Parents

Below we will answer many of the questions that we usually receive at the Curbelo Law immigration offices. If you do not find an answer to yours, do not hesitate to contact us. 

An email or a call does not obligate you to do anything and can be the way to start the process to obtain what you have been waiting for for so long.

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

If your visa request to bring your parents to the United States was denied, in the same letter that notifies you of the denial, they will tell you how and when you can appeal this decision.

Once the applicant submits the appeal form and pays the appropriate fee, the appeal process will be sent to the Board of Immigration Appeals.

appeal immigration decision

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 Have Before Petitioning My Parents?

Although we have already answered this in the requirements section at the beginning of the blog, roughly speaking, you need to comply with the following:

  • Be over 21 years of age.
  • Be able to demonstrate that you have sufficient financial income.
  • Your siblings abroad cannot be included in the petition (they need a separate application), only your parents.
  • 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 they have applied through adjustment of status.

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

Did you know that the U. S. government recognizes the importance and sacrifices of its military? For this reason, it provides support through exclusive programs, such as Military Parole in Place

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

Green Card holders 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 time a Green Card holder can apply for another Green Card for an immediate relative is when applying for a spouse or unmarried children under 21 years of age.

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

Other relatives that an American citizen can request include:

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 can be seen as them not being interested in living in the U. S.

Curbelo Law Helps You with U. S. citizen petition for parents

Now you know a lot more about U. S. citizen petition for parents and since you have a general idea about the topic, you may be interested in knowing how to apply it to your case. For this, it is key to have professionals with a proven track record of success. 

Do not hesitate to contact us to let us know the factual events surrounding your case. From our office in Ridgewood, New Jersey, our attorneys serve globally. This initial contact does not commit you to anything and can be the beginning of reuniting with your loved ones. 

Remember, whether you are petition to bring your parents, spouse or children, Curbelo Law is at your service.