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Green Cards for Parents

The parents of a U.S. citizen may come and live permanently in the U.S. To reunite families, U.S. immigration law allows U.S. citizens to sponsor immediate relatives for a green card.

The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help.


Eligibility Requirements

A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 years old to apply for a green card for a parent. The U.S. citizen must be cautious about timing and should speak with an immigration attorney about the process.


Application Process

The parents of a U.S. citizen may apply for a green card from either inside or outside the United States. A separate petition must be filled out for each parent.

Each immediate relative who immigrates to the U.S. based on a U.S. citizen’s petition must have a financial sponsor. If the U.S. citizen relative will be the sponsor, that person must file Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support). If that person doesn’t meet the financial qualifications, another individual will need to make the commitment and file Form I-864.

If the parent of the U.S. citizen is already in the U.S. legally, the petitioner must be cautious about the timing of the filing. As stated before, we recommend consulting with an immigration attorney. Once that is done, the quickest and easiest way to apply is as follows:

  • A parent fills out Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status), while the U.S. citizen fills out Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative).
  • Submit Forms I-485 and I-130 together, along with all supporting evidence, to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

If the parent of the U.S. citizen is outside the U.S., the parent may apply to become a permanent resident at a U.S. embassy or consulate. To apply, the following steps must be taken:

  • The U.S. citizen must fill out and submit Form I-130 and supporting evidence to USCIS.
  • If USCIS approves the petition, the U.S. Department of State will invite the parent to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
  • The parent should pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after receiving an immigrant visa packet from the U.S. embassy or consulate where the parent applied and before traveling to the U.S.
  • Once the parent is in the U.S., the parent should submit Form I-485 along with supporting evidence to USCIS for a green card (permanent residency).


We Can Help

Figuring out immigration law can be difficult and confusing. The Alcorn Immigration Law team can help. Questions? Contact us.


Form I-485: $1,140

Form I-130: $535

Form I-864 if filed in the U.S.: $120

USCIS Immigrant Fee if coming to the U.S. from abroad: $165

Biometrics fee for applicants ages 14 to 78: $85

Form I-485 (Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status)

Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)

Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support)

Other forms may be required depending on your situation.

  1. If parent is in the U.S., parent fills out Form I-485, U.S. citizen fills out Form I-130; forms and evidence are submitted together.
  2. If parent is outside the U.S., U.S. citizen files Form I-130; parent will be contacted by U.S. Department of State to apply for immigrant visa.



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