San Diego Parents Visa Lawyer
Green Cards for Your Parents
Many people in the United States have family members living in other countries, and wonder whether they can bring them here. If you are a U.S. citizen, you can get green cards (lawful permanent residence) for your parents as long as you are at least 21 years old. Parents are considered to be “immediate relatives” under the immigration laws, meaning there is no limit on the number of green cards given out in this category every year, and therefore no waiting list to slow down the application process.
One important consideration, however, is that you’ll need to show sufficient income or assets to support, or sponsor, your parents at 125% of the U.S. poverty guidelines (as well as supporting your own family). This is intended to make sure they aren’t inadmissible as likely “public charges,” or people likely to receive need-based government assistance.
Visas for Extended Family
There is a widely held perception that if one immigrant settles in the United States, that the one immigrant can get green cards (permanent residence) for their whole extended family. The truth is both more limited and more complex. In addition, it’s important to realize that your parents can be denied green cards if they are inadmissible on other grounds, such as having a record of criminal convictions or immigration violations, or carrying a disease that presents a public health risk, or having a dangerous physical or mental disorder.
If you are a U.S. citizen over 21 you are eligible to sponsor your parents for green cards. Under U.S. immigration laws the parents of adult U.S. citizens are “immediate relatives” and are not subject to the usual numerical quotas used for immigration.
Parents Visas Timeline
Unlike the process time involved with other types of immigration, the process for parents only takes as long as filling out the paperwork and moving through the review and approval process. However, there may be additional time depending on whether your parents are in the U.S. lawfully or unlawfully, or whether they still live abroad.
If your parents are currently lawfully living in the U.S., the process of getting green cards for them takes approximately six months after you submit the following:
At the same time you submit the above document, each of your parents should submit I-485 applications for an adjustment of status. They can also apply for work permits as well as international travel permits, known as advance paroles. If they decide to apply for these permits, you need to submit affidavits of support for each of them.
Once they have been fingerprinted and had medical examinations they’ll receive their travel and work permits in about 90 days. A few months after this they will have an interview at their local USCIS office. If they are approved, they will be given their green cards.
If your parents live outside the U.S. when you file the petition, the process should take approximately a year to receive green cards. To begin the process, submit the following:
What Happens Next?
The USCIS will take a few months to review the filed petitions. If approved, the petitions will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (“NVC”) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. Once they receive the petitions, the NVC will directly communicate with both you and your parents about what else they need for their interviews for immigrant visas. These interviews take place at either the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their country.
Once the necessary paperwork has been submitted and appropriate filing fees received, you will then need to submit affidavits of support for each parent. The NVC will forward these documents to the Embassy of the country your parents live in, so your parents will have their interview in their home country.
Approved for Immigration
If your parents are approved for immigration, they will be given six months in which to come to the U.S. Upon arrival at a U.S. airport, a Customs and Border Protection agent will do a secondary inspection to review all their paperwork. If everything is in order, their passports will be stamped indicating they are being admitted to the U.S. as lawful permanent residents.
Unlawfully in the US
The process to get your parents green cards is more complex if they are in the U.S. unlawfully. In cases such as this you need to consult an experienced immigration attorney prior to any petition for visa or before submitting any types of applications to the government.
Hiring the best attorney for your immigration case can prove pivotal in your life, much like a marriage. A licensed lawyer is authorized and qualified to assist you with your immigration case or green card application. Unlike consultants, attorneys have completed extensive education and training before being licensed to represent clients. Just like a life partner, you want an attorney you can trust, communicate with, and relate to. Most importantly, you want an attorney who knows how to successfully proceed with your case so that you achieve the desired outcome. While many legitimate community and religious organizations provide immigration-related services, there are those who advertise as legal “consultants” or “notarios publicos” but are not authorized or qualified to help with immigration law-related matters. You face a big challenge, the power of the United States government. Don’t face it alone. Contact a San Diego Parents Visa Lawyer at Superior Immigration Lawyers.