Green card for parents falls under the family-based green card category. US citizens can petition for a greed card for parents (as well as other immediate family members) to live in United States. Such US citizens petitioning for a green card for parents must be at least 21 years old.
Parents of US citizens (and other immediate relatives) are not required to wait for a visa number to become available in order to immigrate. There are unlimited visas available for this category, giving parents special immigration priority.
How to Sponsor Green Card for Parents
If you are a US citizen who wants to petition for a green card for your parents, follow the steps outlined below.
Step 1: File an immigration petition for beneficiary (i.e. your parents).
- File Form I-130 for each parent. A separate application is required for each parent you are sponsoring.
- Submit green card immigration petition filing fee of $420 USD.
- Depending on the applicable USCIS service center workload, it may take 3 months or more.
If parents are outside USA, and the I-130 is approved, your parents will be informed and required to attend the green card interview at the applicable nearest US consulate in their home country. Interview needs to be scheduled and may require a medical exam. Parents need to pay the fee and attend the interview. If everything goes well, they will be granted immigration visa (green card). Upon arriving in USA, they will get the stamp at the port of entry (POE) by an immigration officer, and in few days, they will receive the plastic green card delivered to their US mailing address.
If parents are already present in USA, you can file immigration petition I-130 and Adjustment of Status (AOS), I-485, together. Read more about Adjustment of Status.
As a part of your green card application for your parents, you will be required to submit certain supporting documentation with your petition. Depending on the parent, the required documentation may vary. For details, see the table below.
|If you are petitioning for your...||You must submit:|
|Father (and you were born out of wedlock and were not legitimated by your father before your 18th birthday)||
|Father (and you were born out of wedlock and were legitimated by your father before your 18th birthday)||
Please Note: If your parent's name has changed, you should mandatorily include proof of legal name change (like marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption decree, court judgement of name change, etc.)
Step 2: Complete Form G-325A, Biographical Information.
Form G-325A is to be filled by the applicant declaring all the biographical information. This will be used by USCIS to determine the eligibility for the immigration benefit for which the applicant is filing.
- Download and fill out Form G-32A. There is no filing fee required.
Step 3: Complete Form I-864 Affidavit of support by sponsor (you) for your parents.
An affidavit of support (I-864) is required by the sponsor to affirm that the sponsor will support the beneficiary immigrant fully and that the sponsor has adequate means to financially support the new immigrant.
- Form I-864 does not have a filing fee when filed with USCIS or abroad with Department of State (DOS).
- The following fields should be completely filled to ensure acceptance of Form I-865 at lockbox facility.
- Sponsor's family name
- Sponsor's address
- Sponsor's Social Security Number
- Sponsor's signature
- The new form has a 2D barcode technology to help collect the information fast and accurately. As the applicant completes the form electronically, the information is stored.
- If the form is completed by hand, then black ink should be used.
- If National Visa Center mails this form, then the instructions provided by them should be followed.
Step 4: Medical exam and Form I-693.
Form I-693 is used by all the applicants filing for Adjustment of Status to that of a lawful permanent resident. This form is used to report results of a medical examination to USCIS. There is no USCIS fee for this form, the doctor can charge up approximately $300+ for this service.
- Form I-693 current edition date is 03/30/2015. USCIS does accept any other previous editions.
- After completion of medical examination, the civil surgeon is required to give the applicant Form I-693 in a sealed envelope. USCIS will return the form if it is unsealed or tampered with in any way.
The following steps are not required when applying for a green card for parents. The first optional step is to apply for employment authorization for the parents, which will allow them to legally work in the US. The other optional step is to apply for Advance Parole travel document in case the parents need to leave and return to the United States while the green card application is being processed.
Form I-765, Work Authorization Application for Employment Authorization (EAD)
- The filing fee is $380, if the applicant is requesting consideration of deferred action for childhood arrivals (DACA), an additional $85 should be paid against biometric service fee. There is no biometric fees for any other eligibility category.
- Applicant can also receive a text message and Email updates when USCIS accepts Form I-765. This can be done by attaching a Form G-1145, E-Notification of Application/Petition Acceptance.
Form I-131, Application for Travel Document
The purpose of this form is for a re-entry permit, refugee travel document, or advance parole travel document, to include parole into the US on humanitarian basis.
- Current edition is dated 03/22/13. No previous edition forms are accepted.
- The filing fee details depending up on the type can be obtained at http://www.uscis.gov/i-131.
Sponsoring Green Card for Parents FAQ
Can a green card holder sponsor a green card for parents or siblings?
No, only a US citizen can sponsor a green card for parents or family members. Green card holders may only sponsor a green card for a spouse and children.
How long does it take to get the green card for parents once the application is filed?
For certain categories like parents, spouse and children, the green card processing time is much less as compared to other family-based green card applications. Depending on the service center you have filed with, it can take few months to several months. In most cases, the application is processed within 6 months.
While the green card is pending, can my parents work in USA?
No, unless you have applied and received an EAD for them, they cannot work and receive any compensation.
How can I get health insurance for my parents who will become permanent residents?
See this article about Health Insurance for Green Card holders.