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Learn how a U.S. Citizen can petiton for his/her parents to be come Lawful permanent Residents of the United States

United States Citizen Children Petitioning for Parent(s) to become Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States

I. Basic Elements 

a.  U.S Citizen child can only petition for parent when child is 21 years+ 

b.  Must meet definition of child/parent 

c.  Immediate relatives are subject to overall cap on immigration but a spouse, parent and/or child (under age 21) of a U.S. Citizen are not subject to numerical limitations of visas—they are deducted from the overall cap of 480,000/per fiscal year. 

d.  Immediate relatives do not have to wait for their “priority date” to become current.  They are eligible immediately (but must wait for application to be processed). 

II. Procedures 

a.  If parent is abroad--File Form I-130 along with all supporting documentation.  Also a good

idea to include Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. 

b.  Wait while Service Center adjudicates the petition. 

c.  If approved, the Service Center will notify the National Visa Center to forward visa application packets to be completed by the attorney or beneficiary (parent) of the case.  This includes biographical background information, a physical exams, financial considerations, etc. 

III. Strategic Considerations 

a.  Be aware that by filing an immigrant visa petition, the parent (Beneficiary) may have difficulty securing other types of non-immigrant visas such as a B-2 Visitor Visa.  The reason for this is because the intent has changed.  The parent has become an intending immigrant, and therefore may not be eligible for a non-immigrant visa.  Preconceived intent may signal a conflict.  When possible and depending on the nationality of the parent and possibility of securing a visa, it is sometimes better to apply for the B-2 visa, and later submit an application for an immigrant visa.  Discuss with your attorney. 

b.  If a parent is truly interested in emigration to the United States, the first step is to file an Immigrant Visa Petition.  If the parent later changes his/her mind, the petition can be withdrawn. 

IV. Path to United States Citizenship 

a.  Prior to becoming a United States Citizen, all persons must first become Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States.  An applicant for U.S. Naturalization (Citizenship) under a family based petition must be a Permanent Resident of the United States for at least three years, before becoming eligible to apply for U.S. Citizenship.