Is It Possible For Me To Bring My Parents To The United States Permanently?


Oftentimes, people usually ask if they are permitted to bring their parents to the USA permanently.  It is known to be one of the greatest desires of many Hispanic immigrants. 

The essence of this article is to explain in clear terms how you can petition for parents living abroad. 

Is it possible to bring my parents to the USA permanently as residents?

The only set of people that are permitted to petition for their parents to live permanently in the United States is American citizens. As for those who are permanent residents, you are only permitted to bring your spouse and unmarried children – those below 21 years of age.

Note that for an American citizen child to petition for his parents to come over, according to the law, the child must be at least 21 years of age. Within the immigration processes in the United States, the family petition of children to parents is a fairly common procedure, nevertheless, you must be careful to mitigate errors or unnecessary delays of any form during the process.  

What are the requirements for a citizen child to bring his or her parents to the USA permanently as residents? 


There are certain eligibility requirements established by the immigration law to regulate the process of the petition of citizen children to bring their parents.


The child must present the following if the parents reside outside the United States:

  • You must present Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • You must present a copy of the birth certificate that will serve as proof of the filial relationship where your name and the name of your parents appear. In a situation whereby the child is a natural child, then only the mother’s name is required.
  • You must present a copy of Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or US passport, if not born in the US
  • You must present a copy of the parents’ civil marriage certificate.
  • In cases of children born out of wedlock, thereby not being recognized by the father;

    For a petitioner that was born out of wedlock thereby become the child of a single mother and was not recognized by the father before turning 18; 


  • You must present Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • You must present a copy of the birth certificate stating the name of the petitioner and the mother.
  • You must present a copy of the certificate of naturalization, citizenship, or American passport for those that were born outside the US.
  • You must present a document that will serve as evidence of the filiatory or economic link existing between the petitioner and his / her father/mother before getting married or getting to the age of 21.
  • In cases of children born out of wedlock but recognized by the father

    In a situation whereby the child was born out of wedlock by parents who live outside the United States but was recognized by the father before his 18th birthday;
  • He/she must submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • He/she must submit a copy of the birth certificate stating the name of both the petitioner and the parent.
  • He/she must submit a copy of the certificate of naturalization or citizenship or the American passport if he/she was born outside the US. 
  • He/she must present proof indicating that he/she was recognized before turning 18 years old which could be either through the marriage of their parents, the laws of the country of origin, or residence.
  • In cases of petitioning for your stepfather/stepmother

    In a situation whereby you want to ask your stepfather or stepmother to reside in the United States, the petitioner; 

  • You must present Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • You must present a copy of the birth certificate indicating the names of your parents.
  • You must present a copy of the civil marriage certificate of the mother / natural father with his stepfather or stepmother, and this document must show that the marriage happened before your 18th birthday.
  • Nevertheless, for cases of the death of the divorced or previous spouse of the stepfather or stepmother, you must submit the respective document. The law requires that you present proof that the divorce or dissolution of the past marriage of the stepfather has legal backing.

    Is it possible for me to bring my adoptive parents to the USA permanently?

    The answer is yes, however, you must present the documents listed below: 
  • You must submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
  • You must submit a copy of the petitioner’s birth certificate.
  • If born outside the US, you must submit a copy of the Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship.
  • You must submit a certified copy of the adoption certificate that will serve as proof that the adoption took place before the 16th birthday.
  • You must present an affidavit stating the places and dates where the petitioner resided together with his adoptive parents.
  • If either the name of the petitioner or that of his parents has changed, you must attach a document that proves this which could be a marriage certificate, divorce, or adoption decree, and a court order authorizing the name change. 

    As regards Undocumented Parent Petition  

    Is it possible for me to bring my undocumented parents to the USA permanently? Parents without papers can apply for a green card under these two situations:

    Firstly, if they are present in the US illegally but legally got into the country through a port of entry which means that they were admitted by an immigration officer who stamped their passports. Moreover, they can adjust their status to be issued a permanent resident permit.

    Secondly, They entered the country and crossed the border illegally, but in such cases, you can apply for an immigration waiver as a result of the illegal presence and wait till the necessary time before they return.

    You have yet another option which is to serve the penalty of 3 or 10 years before you are allowed to return. Whichever path you choose to follow, you will require the advice and legal representation of an attorney to make sure that the procedure is done appropriately.

    In cases of Children being members of the Armed Forces

    As citizens serving active duty in the Military Force, you can petition their parents through parole in place while at it, parents can be issued residence permits for one year, extendable.

    Furthermore, they are entitled to processing work permits. Moreover, they can sometimes benefit from 245 (i) immigration protection if they possess a family petition. 

    What this legal option does is to permit certain foreigners to become permanent residents without having to leave the United States.

    For a citizen child to petition their parents, what is the process?

    1. He/she must present the I-130 petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, and then wait for the USCIS to let them know if the immigrant visa application was approved or rejected. 
    2. You must submit the approved petition, and also other documents to the National Visa Center. Although this process may delay a bit because you will be required to present other documents requested by the body.  
    3. You are required to visit a licensed health provider to ask for a medical examination after which you take the result to the interview at the embassy or consulate of the country where your parents reside.
    4. On approval of the immigrant visa, the parents are required to travel to the US within six months, and when they get to the country, your passports will be stamped by an immigration officer as an indication that the Green Card has been approved. 

    The things to keep in mind before filing the parent petition?

    • The petitioner has to be more than age 21. 
    • You must present proof that you have sufficient financial resources to stand in as their sponsors. 
    • You are not permitted to add your foreign siblings in your parents’ petition. You have to make an entirely different request to be able to do so.  
    • You will not be allowed to petition your parents if you were issued citizenship after benefiting from the Special Immigrant Juvenile program. 

    What is the time duration for the processing of a citizen son to his father?

    It can take up to 5 months to 10 years for the process of a citizen requesting a Green Card for their parents to get through though this depends on the immigration status of the father and the circumstances peculiar to each family, and also the processing center allocated to it.

    In some cases, it is impossible to achieve this because the eligibility conditions of the parents do not allow it, and in such cases, despite obtaining the immigration waiver, this could take up to 10 years.  But in a situation whereby the parents live in the US already and there is no legal obstacle to the adjustment of status, the process is usually faster and once the process has commenced, you are obligated to stay in the country.  

    Furthermore, in a situation whereby one of the parents accumulated an illegal presence in the country, this process will take time before it can be resolved. 

    How can you check the petition of children to parents?

    There is a USCIS tool that has been made available for determining how long a citizen child petition to a parent takes. In this tool lies the USCIS processing times for the family-based immigration petition alongside other applications.

    You can now adhere to these instructions:

    1. You can choose the form type I-130 and also the office that handles your case (California Service Center), then a window is shown where the processing times are displayed.

    2. Furthermore, select the option to petition a citizen of the United States for a partner, parent, or child below the age of 21 years. Presently, the delay at the California Service Center is approximately 19.5 to 25.5 months.

    After processing the request for the Green Card for parents, what happens?

    After processing the request, the USCIS will let you know whether the submitted petition was accepted or rejected, and in situations whereby the parents are in the US already, they are free to apply for adjustment of status using Form I-485. 

    If the family sponsor’s income is not enough, what happens?

    In a situation like this, other things may be considered in determining financial capacity such as personal assets (property, bank deposits, stocks, or bonds). Nevertheless, these assets within one year must be converted into cash. 

    Furthermore, the assets are not accounted for their total cash value but are adjusted in the supporting affidavit and another member of the family can contribute if it is hard for the sponsor to have the needed cash assets to be eligible.

    The family member can include the partner, an adult child, the father, or a brother who resides at the same address, even a non-family member. Moreover, you don’t need to live under the same roof. 

    If my request is rejected, can I possibly appeal? 

    It is possible for you to appeal, besides, the notice of denial sent by the USCIS states how and when the petitioner can appeal this decision. In addition to this, be ready to file Form EOIR-29  with USCIS and pay the required.

    The agency sends it to the body in charge which is the Board of Immigration Appeals after processing the appeal form.


    Are there other relatives that can be requested by an American citizen?

    • His or her spouse.
    • His or her  unmarried children below the age of 21 years.
    • His or her  unmarried children above the age of 21 years.
    • His or her married children of any age.
    • His or her children that were adopted abroad.
    • His or her siblings from 21 years of age or older.

    In conclusion, we have succeeded in dealing with everything that concerns bringing your parents to the United States, we hope we have been able to answer all the questions you may have concerning this issue.


    Leave a Reply