Steps for Filing a Parent’s Green Card

If you wish to sponsor your immediate family, such as your parents, to immigrate to the US, you must generally be a US citizen and must be earning enough to support your parent or parents during their stay in the US. You can secure a US green card for a parent in these circumstances, but you must go through the application process for a family-based green card, which can be involved.

You will need to file Form I-130 Petition (Petition for Alien Relative). As part of this petition, you will need to prove that you are a lawful permanent resident or a US citizen. You will also need to prove that your parent is your parent. If your name has changed or your parent’s name has changed through a court order or marriage, you may need to submit documentation of this name change as well, to avoid confusion. You will need to submit Form I-130 and all supporting documents with the current filing fees and you may need to file Form FC-029 (Copy certification) at the same time as you file Form I-130. If you will be working with an immigration attorney to secure a green card for your parent, you will need to also file Form G-28 (Notice of Appearance for the Attorney or Representative).

Once you file Form I-130 on behalf of your parent, the date that you file will become your parent’s Priority Date. This date represents your place in line. Depending on the number of visas available, this date secures a place in the queue for your parent. Once a US green card is available, your parent will be informed of the availability and the application will be processed so that the greencard can be provided to your parent. Since parents tend to be lower priority than children and spouses, the wait time for a parent US green card can be long. To find out how long your parent might need to wait for a green card, consult the USCIS website. Your parent will not be allowed to live in the US until the greencard is processed. In some cases, a green card application for a parent can take months or even years to process.

After your Form I-130 has been received by the USCIS, you will receive an I-797C (Notice of Action, Receipt Notice) from the USCIS. Keep this in a safe place. The receipt number on this notice will allow you to track your case online.