Can You Bring Your Foreign Parents to America and How?

Can You Bring Your Foreign Parents to America and How?

Daniel Hall 29/05/2024
Can You Bring Your Foreign Parents to America and How?

Following a move to America, you may want to figure out how your family can join you in the United States.

While certain visas may allow them to stay up to 6 months, you may want to help them obtain permanent residence. 

Fortunately, while this process can be complex, many resources, including US-Immigration, are available to help you and your family make this move as easy as possible.

You May Be Eligible to Bring Your Parents to America


When considering bringing your parents to America, one of the first steps is determining whether you can help them immigrate. Once you have determined your eligibility, you can begin helping them go through this process. However, you may need to seek other options if you are not qualified. 

As requirements go, first, you must be a U.S. citizen and be at least 21. Make sure you follow the provisions of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services when it comes to eligibility requirements and initial evidence gathering. Even if you are a permanent resident, you will need more than green card status to sponsor your parents' move to America for good. You can only apply for your spouse or children if you are a green card holder. 

If you meet these requirements, you must demonstrate that you have a relationship that qualifies for the parent visa. That means you need to prove you are the child of your parents through birth certificates or adoption records. You must also show that you can support your parents financially as they complete the immigration process.

The Visa Application Has Multiple Steps

Once you confirm your parents are eligible to immigrate to the United States, you can begin the application. This is a multi-step process, and it starts with seeking the appropriate visa needed to reside and work in the U.S. Be sure to follow the steps below for each of your parents to help them settle permanently in the U.S.

Prepare Documents to Support Your Parents' Immigration 

Applying for a green card requires significant supporting documents. USCIS requires ample documentation that establishes you have a valid family relationship and are eligible to complete this process. Ensure you gather your birth certificate's copy, a passport copy or certificate of naturalization copy, and more.

Submit an Application with the Right Forms

Once you have gathered all this information and documentation, you must complete and submit an I-130 form. This form is also known officially as the Petition for Alien Relative. Other forms that can help your family through this process include the I-864 form, which guarantees financial support for the beneficiary.

File an Adjustment of Status if Applicable 

If your parents are currently in the United States with a non-immigrant visa, you may also need to file for adjustment of status (green card). This form is typically used when your parents visit you with a visitor visa and decide to stay with you permanently. In addition to the I-485 form, you will also need the following documentation:

  • Alien registration number, if applicable

  • Their passport

  • Proof that your I-130 form is pending or approved

  • The I-94 form (arrival document)

  • Recent address and employment history 

  • Dates for any previous marriages or divorces

Once you file this form, your parents may be able to stay in the U.S. during the application process. You may also file other forms, such as the Application for Employment Authorization, which allow them to work in the United States without legal issues during the approval process. That gives your parents more freedom if they are already in America.

Attend a Visa Interview 

Once this documentation is complete, a visa interview is the final step before approval or denial. This is typically done at a USCIS or U.S. consular office if they are not currently in the United States. If the interview goes well, your parents' applications will be approved, and they will receive their immigrant visas.

Your Case Does Not Have to End with a Denial 

Sadly, many families face denials at first. You may have gone through this process only to receive a denial for your petition. Fortunately, you have options to move forward. 

According to the USCIS, your denial letter will have all the information you need for an appeal. That includes how to do so and how much time you have. You must act quickly to complete your appeal form and the required fee. 

Once your appeal form is submitted, the Board of Immigration Appeals will review and process it. At this point, you can argue for the petition to be approved instead. This gives you a second chance to help your family come to America.

Get Legal Help When Helping Your Parents Immigrate to America 

The immigration process can be tricky, involving significant documentation, paperwork, and other steps for your relatives' visa needs. However, while this process can be complex, it is often possible to help your parents immigrate to the United States comfortably and smoothly. 

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Daniel Hall

Business Expert

Daniel Hall is an experienced digital marketer, author and world traveller. He spends a lot of his free time flipping through books and learning about a plethora of topics.

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