Green Cards (Common)
National Interest Waivers
Professors & Researchers
Executives & Managers
PERM Labor Certification
Investors (EB-5 visas)
Family (Spouse, etc.)
Work Visas (Common)
O-1 Extraordinary Ability
TN Canadians & Mexicans
J-1 Visa Holders
Nurses & Physical Therapists
Green Cards for Parents of U.S. Citizens
Parents of U.S. citizens are eligible for permanent resident status as immediate relatives. The U.S. citizen child must be 21 years of age or older to apply for a parent.
If the U.S. citizen child is adopted, the adoption must have been finalized before the child's 16th birthday. Furthermore, the parent must have had legal custody of the child for at least two years, either before or after the adoption. The child must also have resided with the adoptive parent for at least two years either before or after the adoption.
If the U.S. citizen is a stepchild of the alien parent, the marriage creating the stepchild relationship must have been taken place before the child's 18th birthday.
The parents of a spouse are not considered “parents” for immigration purposes. In other words, a U.S. citizen may not sponsor an immigrant petition for a father-in-law or mother-in-law. The spouse may petition for parents if that spouse is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
The application process depends on whether the alien parent is inside or outside of the United States. If the alien parent is already within the United States in a nonimmigrant status, the U.S. citizen can file an immigration petition (I-130) and the parent can file an application to adjust status to permanent resident (I-485) at the same time. If the alien parent is outside of the United States, the U.S. citizen should file an immigration petition and request that USCIS notify a U.S. Consulate in the country where the parent lives. The USCIS sends the approval notice to the National Visa Center of the U.S. State Department, who then sends “Packet 3” to the U.S. citizen. After the necessary forms are completed, the parent goes to the U.S. Consulate overseas to apply for an immigrant visa. The parent becomes a U.S. permanent resident when he or she enters the United States on an immigrant visa.