Parents of a U.S. Citizen

Family-Based Immigration: Parents of a U.S. Citizen

Parents of a U.S. Citizen

Securing permanent residency for your parents who are foreign citizens can seem like a monumental task, especially if the need to bring them to the U.S. becomes more urgent as your parents get older. If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years of age, you can petition for your parents to become lawful permanent residents and join you in the U.S. As with other types of immigration, the process is not always straightforward, but with the guidance of an experienced immigration lawyer in New Jersey, you can avoid unnecessary delays or mistakes that may jeopardize your parents’ chance of gaining U.S. residency. Call LS&P Lawyers at (888) 847-2529 or contact us by email to set up a comprehensive consultation. Our reliable team of attorneys will provide you with the information and insight you need.

Why Do You Need to File a Form I-130 on Behalf of my Parents?

A U.S. citizen must file a Form I-130 to establish the relationship that he or she has with the foreign citizen who is hoping to immigrate. For example, immediate relatives, such as a spouse, children under 21, or parents, will not have to wait as long to immigrate as those who are siblings, children over 21, or married children. Family members who do not qualify as immediate relatives are separated into different categories, which are only allotted a certain number of visas each year. While there is no limit on the number of visas available to immediate family members, it does not guarantee that the immigration process will go quickly.

Can a Foreign-Born Parent Living in the U.S. Obtain an Adjustment of Status?

Depending on whether your parent entered the U.S. legally, he or she may be eligible to file for an adjustment of status in order to obtain permanent residence without leaving the US.

If your parent entered the U.S. legally as a nonimmigrant, he or she may file an application to adjust status of permanent residence (Form I-485) at the same time as you, the U.S. citizen, file an immigration petition (Form I-130) on his or her behalf.

Generally, if your parent entered the US without inspection (EWI), he or she may not be allowed to stay in the U.S. or file for an adjustment of status. There are, however, some exceptions.

Contact the New Jersey immigration attorneys at LS&P Lawyers to learn about any exceptions or waivers that may apply to your parents’ situation.

What is the Affidavit of Support?

An affidavit of support verifies that you, the U.S. citizen, agree to take financial responsibility for your parents once they become permanent residents. If you are unable to support your parents, the government will be able to file a lawsuit to collect reimbursement for any public benefits the immigrants have used. This sponsorship or financial obligation will last until the permanent resident becomes a U.S. citizen, earns at least 40 work credits under Social Security, or permanently leaves the U.S.

It is important to note that in order to qualify as a sponsor, you will have to meet several financial requirements, as well. Contact LS&P Lawyers to learn more about filing an affidavit of support.

Will My Parents Have to Live in the U.S. Year-Round?

Having a green card means the immigrant intends to live in the US permanently. It is not the best option for allowing your parents to visit the U.S. for long periods of time. Under U.S. immigration laws, if a green card holder does not live in the U.S. on a permanent basis, he or she may be deemed to have abandoned status and denied re-entry upon returning to the U.S. The laws of abandonment are complicated. An experienced immigration lawyer can guide you as to the green card holder’s obligations and requirements to maintaining their permanent resident status.

Helping Parents of U.S. Citizens

As a former Immigration Officer with the Legacy Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS), attorney Alan Lubiner has extensive experience with highly nuanced family-based immigration cases. If you are seeking permanent residency status for one or both of your parents who are foreign citizens, please do not hesitate to contact New Jersey law firm LS&P Lawyers. We will provide you with the information and guidance you to need to successfully manage the application process.