Green Cards for Parents
San Jose Family-Based Immigration Attorneys
The United States promotes family unity and allows U.S. citizens to sponsor
their parents for a Green Card to come and live permanently in the United
States. The U.S. citizen child must be 21 years of age or older to sponsor
for a parent’s Green Card. Parents are considered immediate relatives
of the U.S. citizen under
U.S. Immigration Law, which means that there is no waiting period for a visa to become available;
there is always a visa available for a U.S. citizen’s parents. The Green Card process differs if the U.S. citizen's parents are
in the United States or abroad.
Filing an Immigration Application for Parents Abroad
- If the parents are abroad, the U.S. citizen will need to file an Immigration
Application with USCIS. The USCIS adjudicates the Immigration Application
in about 4-6 months.
- Subsequently, USCIS will send the approval notice to the National Visa
Center (NVC). Additional filing of forms, affidavit of support, etc. must
be done at the NVC. The average time for adjudication by the NVC is about 3 months.
- Thereafter, the NVC will forward the file to the U.S. Consulate in the
country where the parents live.
- The U.S. Consulate abroad will continue to process the application and
schedule the parents for an interview. The processing time at the U.S.
Consulate and the scheduling of the interview depends upon the volume
of work at the particular U.S. Consulate. During the interview, the immigrant
visa should be approved.
- The parents can thereafter enter the United States within 6 months of issuance
of immigrant visa. The actual Green Card is mailed after the parents have
entered the U.S.
Adjustment of Status for Parents Already in the U.S.
If the parents are in the United States on a B-2 tourist visa, they can
Adjustment of Status (AOS) process to adjust to permanent resident while residing in the U.S.
There are certain restrictions in applying for AOS for parents on B-2 visas.
- The U.S. citizen can file an Immigration Application in conjunction with
the AOS Application; Affidavit of Support; Application for Employment
Authorization; and, Application for Travel Document (hereinafter collectively
called as “AOS application”).
- After the AOS application is filed, USCIS will send a biometrics appointment
notice within 2 weeks. At this time, the parents are required to attend
the Biometrics appointment where USCIS will take the parent’s picture
and fingerprint the parents.
- USCIS will issue an Advance Parole (travel permit) and Employment Authorization
Document (work authorization) within 90 days after the Green Card is filed.
Subsequent to the filing of the AOS application, the parents should not
travel outside the U.S. without the aforementioned Advance Parole (travel
If the parents leave the U.S. prior to receiving the Advance Parole, the
Green Card application will be considered abandoned and the parents will have to restart the Green Card process through Consular
Processing. The current processing time for an AOS application is 5 to 6 months.
- If the AOS application is approved, the parents will receive their Green
Card in the mail. There is a possibility that USCIS may request the U.S.
citizen’s parents to appear for an interview; however, in 90% of
U.S. citizen’s parents AOS cases, there is no interview.
Items Needed for the Green Card Application
The Green Card application for parents requires supporting documentation
- A birth certificate of the U.S. citizen to establish a parent-child relationship
- The birth certificate of each parent
- Evidence of financial support by the U.S. citizen
Details About Birth Certificate Requirements
The U.S. citizen will need to provide a complete birth certificate which states:
- The U.S. Citizen’s first and last name
- Their date of birth
- Their city of birth as a U.S. citizen
- Each parent’s first and last name
If the birth certificate is incomplete or late dated (registered after
one year of birth) then the birth certificate must be submitted with affidavits.
The affidavits must be signed by an individual who has knowledge of the
U.S. citizen’s birth and the parent-child relationship. For example,
if the U.S. citizen child’s birth certificate is incomplete or missing
information, they can request their uncle/aunt (or another family member)
to provide an affidavit to the birth certificate. The uncle/aunt will
need to state the following: first and last name, date of birth, knowledge
of the U.S. citizen’s birth, and relationship to the U.S. citizen
and U.S. citizen’s parents.
The sponsored parent must submit a birth certificate as well. Until a few years back, some countries did not require their citizens
to have the birth certificates. For example, in India, under the Births
and Deaths Act of 1969, all births are required to be registered. Thus,
birth certificates are available for anyone born after 1970. Prior to
April 1, 1970, the reporting of births in India was voluntary.
When a birth certificate is unavailable for the parents, the U.S. Citizen’s
- Obtain a certificate of non-availability from the authority issuing birth
certificates at the place where they were born;
- Submit two affidavits in regard to the their date of birth; and,
- Produce secondary evidence of date of birth which includes, school leaving
certificates/ school records, Driver’s License, or any other Government
Exceptions for Parents Born in Undivided India
Moreover U.S. Citizen’s, parents born in undivided India before the
India-Pakistan partition of 1947 may be unable to obtain a birth certificate
or non-availability certificate. When the British colony of India became
independent in 1947, it was divided into two separate entities: India
and Pakistan. There have been ongoing disputes between India and Pakistan
for disputed territory, Kashmir region, for over 50 years, and there have
been three wars between the two countries in 1947-1948, 1965 and 1971.
There have been ongoing skirmishes between the two countries, including
an infamous attack in Mumbai, India at the Taj Mahal Palace Hotel. The
hotel was held under siege by terrorists, killing 164 people. As a result
of the current highly volatile climate in India and Pakistan, the U.S.
Citizen’s parent may be unable to obtain his/her birth certificate
or a non-availability of the birth certificate and may not be able to
obtain either document in the foreseeable future.
If this is the case, the U.S. Citizen’s parent must enclose the following:
- An explanation in regard to his/her inability to obtain a birth certificate
from Pakistan or visa-versa from India due to the bad relations between
the two countries.
- News reports in regard to the same from websites such as CNN, BBC, etc.
- In lieu of the birth certificate, the U.S. Citizen’s parent must
submit at least 2 affidavits in regard to the parent’s date of birth
together with secondary evidence including school leaving certificates/
school records, Driver’s License, or any other Government issued
- Lastly, the U.S. citizen needs to complete an Affidavit of Support. The
US. Citizen must establish that he or she has sufficient income or ability
to financially support his or her parents.
Call Our San Jose Immigration Firm to Discuss Your Options
No matter your situation, let our Silicon Valley immigration attorneys
meet with you to discuss the best plan of action to get the appropriate
green cards for you or for your parents if you are a U.S. citizen.
At Verma Law Firm, we understand the complexities associated with immigration
and will walk personally with you throughout the process so that you are
not left in the dark. As top-rated legal professionals, you can count
on our firm.
Call our San Jose immigration lawyers today for an initial consultation.