How to apply for permanent residence for your parents

Sharing economic stability and a better quality of life with our loved ones can become a reality. Learn about the requirements to request permanent residence for your parents in the United States.

Reuniting and consolidating a family within the United States is one of the aspirations of millions of immigrants. Different life circumstances force family members to separate, but love and persistence bring their paths together.

If you are a US citizen over 21 years of age, you can apply for permanent residence for your parents in the United States. Under this modality, until 2019, one million people obtained their permanent residence, which represents 40% of the total number of new Legal Permanent Residents in the country, according to information from CNN Spanish.

It should be noted that it is not possible for permanent residents (Green Card holders) to make this request.

Requirements to request parental residence in the United States

The simplest way to access the parents' residence in the United States is when they are within the country with a valid visa. For these cases, the requirement is to submit the Form I-130 Petition for a Relative. And subsequently or in parallel, an Adjustment of Status process, through Form I-485.

Among the most relevant requirements to request permanent residence for your parents in the United States, through the Adjustment of Immigration Status, are:

  • Proof that the beneficiary entered the United States with a valid visa (copy of visa or entry-exit record I-94).
  • Copy of birth certificate and passport from the country of origin.
  • Financial statements and affidavit of support, proving that the sponsor can take care of the support of the beneficiary.
  • Certified copy of a non-criminal record.
  • A medical exam performed with a provider authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

These requirements can be modified if the visa with which the parents entered has expired. Although it is not an impediment to obtaining permanent residence, it will be necessary to resort to a provision of law, which provides a waiver of this circumstance for immediate family members such as spouses, parents, and unmarried children.

It is important to take into account that, in accordance with the immigration laws of the United States, the beneficiary who makes an Adjustment of Immigration Status will be able to work freely while the case is in process.

And if it is necessary for them to travel outside the country, they must request permission through forms I-765 Application for Employment Authorization, as well as the I-131 Application for Travel Document.

How to petition my parents if they live outside the United States

In case your parents live outside the United States, the process is different. You also start by entering the Form I-130 Petition for a relative and add some important documents, such as:

  • Copy of the sponsor's birth certificate
  • Copy of passport, certificate of naturalization or citizenship

If the application is approved, the beneficiary must go to the United States embassy in their country of origin to complete the process. This includes an interview in which all personal data will be verified. Later you will receive a visa with a special immigration stamp and a few weeks after entering the United States, you will obtain your Green Card.

How long does the process take to request permanent residence for your parents in the United States?

Although requesting permanente residence in the United States is one of the easiest ways to apply for a Green Card, take into account that the process can take at least five months. This only applies if the beneficiary is in American territory and is valid at the time of the application for permanent residence.

If, on the other hand, the sponsored person does not have a valid visa and faces a penalty for a prolonged stay, they will have to leave the country and may return up to 10 years later. In these circumstances, it is essential to receive legal assistance to resolve the problem and in order to obtain residence.

What is the cost of requesting permanent residence for your parents in the United States?

If the mother or father lives within the United States, the cost for this application is approximately $1,760 USD, which includes the following fees:

  • Income from Form I-130 $535 USD
  • Form I-485 $1,140 USD
  • Cost of biometric services $85 USD

If the beneficiary is outside of the United States, you will have to pay approximately $1,200 USD for the application. The consular procedure includes:

  • Form I-130 $535 USD
  • DS-260, Immigrant Visa Application $325 USD
  • Form I-864 Affidavit of Support $120 USD
  • USCIS Immigration Fee $220 USD

The procedure can be carried out jointly for both parents, but the fees and documentation must be submitted individually. It is advisable to carry out the process separately, since processing times may increase jointly.