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When can someone help their parents immigrate?

On Behalf of | Mar 1, 2024 | Family-Based Immigration

Legally entering the United States of America can change someone’s life. People can escape religious or racial persecution in their countries of origin. They can secure better educational or employment opportunities. They can also offer the next generation of their family a very different lifestyle than they had in their youth.

Oftentimes, immigrants to the United States focused primarily on their spouses and children when looking to share their good fortune with loved ones. Visas and green cards can provide opportunities for someone’s spouse and their unmarried children under the age of 21. However, many immigrants also aspire to help their parents who currently live in another country.

When does someone with parents living abroad potentially have the option of helping them legally enter the United States?

When they become citizens themselves

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) oversees numerous different visa programs. There are several family-based immigration programs that can lead to someone acquiring green cards for certain family members. Occasionally, parents are the relatives who benefit from family-based immigration. Parents cannot accompany someone with a work visa when they travel to the United States. They also do not qualify for green cards if their child is a permanent resident. Only the parents of United States citizens are potentially eligible for green cards of their own. The citizen also needs to be at least 18 years old to apply on behalf of their parent.

When the parent meets certain standards

Not every parent of a United States citizen can obtain a green card through their family relationships. Parents of citizens who qualify for family-based immigration must meet the same standards as other immigrants. The USCIS will still perform a thorough background check. There are medical standards as well that can influence someone’s eligibility. Additionally, the citizen seeking a green card for a family member typically means proof of their relationship. Birth certificates and adoption paperwork are among the documents necessary to establish a qualifying parental relationship.

Adult children who hope to reconnect with their parents may decide to naturalize so that they can offer an opportunity to their parents. Learning more about how parents can immigrate may benefit those hoping to reunite with their loved ones in the United States.