Parents typically want what is best for their children. They make sacrifices to give their children opportunities that they have never had. Your parents may have encouraged your career goals or supported you during your school days, pushing you to secure a better life.
Now that you have achieved professional success or started a family of your own, you may want to help your parents live a better life too. If your adult path brought you to the United States and one of your parents is a citizen in another country, you may want to help your parents enter the United States.
When can someone living in the United States help a parent move to the United States legally?
You need to be a citizen to help your parents immigrate
Permanent residents or green card holders have the right to help certain family members enter the United States. Their spouses and children may qualify for immigration. Unfortunately, permanent residents typically cannot help their parents enter the country. Only citizens can.
Both naturalized and natural-born citizens have the option of sponsoring their parents living abroad for a green card. If you and your parents meet certain standards established by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you can help them not just enter the United States but legally live here permanently.
What rules apply to parental immigration?
In addition to being a citizen, you have to be at least 21 years old to petition on behalf of a parent. You will need a copy of your birth certificate as evidence of your parental relationship and your naturalization records if you were born abroad.
Bringing in a father rather than a mother will require additional steps. If your parents were married, you will also need a copy of your parents’ marriage certificate. If they were not, you need evidence that your father legitimized their relationship with you before your 18th birthday. If he did not, you need evidence of your father’s paternal role in your life while you were unmarried and under the age of 21.
Learning more about the different kinds of family-based immigration can help you reconnect with your loved ones who live in other countries.