How to Get a Green Card for Your Parents – The Process

US citizens (non-green card holders) can apply for a green card for their parents, so that their parents can live in the United States. The condition is that the person applying for the green card for their parents should be at least 21 years of age. Also, there are some formalities to be completed to get a US green card for your parents.

How to File the Petition?

You need to fill certain online forms so that the process of getting a green card for either or both your parents can be initiated. The course of action differs according to different situations.

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Case #1: Your Father Lives Outside the US

If you come under this category and want a green card for your father, the documents you need to submit include:

  • Form I-130: This is used when a permanent resident of the US needs to show their relationship with a foreign individual, who wants to immigrate to the country.
  • A copy of a valid birth certificate that has your name, along with the names of both of your parents.
  • A copy of your parents’ marriage certificate.
  • In case you were not born in the US, you also need to give a copy of the Certificate of Naturalization.

Case #2: Your Mother Lives Outside the US

The documents required in this case include:

  • Form I-130 (same as above)
  • A copy of a valid birth certificate that has your name, along with the names of both of your parents.
  • Copy of your Certificate of Naturalization, if you were not born in America.

Case #3: You have a Step Parent Who Lives Outside the US

If you are seeking a green card for a step parent, the documents you need to submit, along with Gorm I-130 and your birth certificate are:

  • A copy of the Civil Marriage Certificate that shows that the marriage between your birth parent and the step parent occurred before you were 18 years old.
  • To show that any marriages entered by your step or natural parent in the past ended legally, you would also need to give documents such as death certificate, divorce papers, annulment decree, etc.

Next Steps after Filing of Petition

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will notify you if your Form I-130 petition has been accepted or rejected. If the petition is approved, your parent will be notified and will need to visit the US consulate in their home country to proceed with the visa processing.

In case the petition is denied, the letter you receive will inform you about the process to appeal the decision and the time within which you need to do so. For more information about the appeal form and the associated fees, check the How Do I Guides section of the USCIS website.

Note: Filing a Form I-130 is only the first step in helping a relative immigrate to the United States. Eligible family members must wait until there is a visa number available before they can apply to become a lawful permanent resident.

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Mani Karthik

About the Author

Mani Karthik

Ex “NRI” and Founder of the “Back to India” movement. I share my experience about immigrating to USA here.