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.
For more information regarding the Benefits of the New Public Charge Rule, click here.
What Items do I need for a Green Card Application?
The Green Card application for parents requires supporting documentation including:
- 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
How do I File 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 but please note that this timeline is subject to change.
- 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 but please note that this timeline is subject to change.
- 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.
How Long Does it Take to Get a Green Card for Parents?
After finishing those steps, parents can 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.
What is the Process for Adjustment of Status with Parents Already in the U.S.?
If the parents are in the United States on a B-2 tourist visa, they can begin the 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 a few 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) after the Green Card is filed. Processing time for Advance Parole and Employment Authorization can range from few months to 6 months, but this timeline is subject to change.
- Subsequent to the filing of the AOS application, the parents should not travel outside the U.S. without the aforementioned Advance Parole (travel document). 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 1 to 2 years, but this timeline is subject to change.
- 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.
What are the 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 parent must:
- 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 issued documents.
Are there 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 documents.
- 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.
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