How to Secure a Green Card for Parents of US Citizens

Green Card for Parents of US Citizens: Navigating the Application Process

Sponsoring your parent’s green card can seem complex and daunting. At JQK Law, we understand that reuniting with your family is a top priority, and we’re here to help you navigate the intricate pathways of US immigration law and help your family obtain lawful status. 

As a US citizen, you can sponsor your parents to become permanent residents by obtaining a family-based green card. This allows them to live lawfully in the US and paves the way for them to enjoy the benefits and securities of permanent residency.

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers an expedited route for parents of US citizens under the Immediate Relative IR-5 visa category. This means that, unlike other family-based green cards, there’s no cap on the number of visas issued annually for immediate relatives, which includes parents of adult US citizens. If you are 21 or older and a US citizen, you can sponsor your mother or father for a green card. 

In this immigration journey, your future and your family’s future are our priority. At JQK Law, we’re committed to treating every case we handle with the utmost respect and dignity. We utilize our decades of experience to guide our clients through the immigration process. Let us help you bring your parents to the US as lawful permanent residents so you can start building family memories that last a lifetime.

Understanding Green Card Eligibility for Parents of US Citizens

Family immigration can be complicated. It can be challenging to understand the different eligibility requirements for the sponsor and petitioner and the roles that everybody plays in the green card process. At JQK Law, our team is dedicated to guiding you through your immigration journey. We want to clarify the eligibility of parents of US citizens to obtain a family-based green card.

To sponsor your parents for lawful permanent residence, you must be a US citizen and at least 21 years old. 

Key Eligibility Criteria:

  • Age: Must be 21 years or older.
  • Citizenship: You must be a US citizen.
  • Financial Stability: You should be able to support your parents financially.
  • Admissibility: Your parents must be admissible to the United States.

It’s imperative to understand that as their sponsor, it’s not just about filing the paperwork; it is about ensuring you meet the necessary financial requirements to support your parents once they’re in the US. This means providing evidence that you earn enough income or have the assets to maintain the prescribed poverty level guidelines.

Finally, your parents must meet certain eligibility requirements. This means they must not have any disqualifying factors, such as certain criminal backgrounds or previous immigration violations. Every step of this process is significant, and overlooking even minor details can impact the outcome of an immigrant visa.

By keeping these points in mind, and with our firm’s support, you can confidently file a petition for your parent and bring them closer to becoming a lawful permanent resident. For those looking for in-depth criteria and procedures, review the designation by USCIS for immediate relatives.

Remember, we are here to support your and your family member’s future every step of the way. Your loved ones becoming green card holders is a significant milestone, and we take great pride in ensuring a compassionate and thorough approach as your chosen immigration partner.

The Application Process

There are multiple steps to the green card application. The journey to unite family begins with the filing of Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative. After USCIS accepts the petition, it forwards it to the National Visa Center for further processing.

For parents residing outside the US, the pathway involves consular processing. Once the I-130 is approved, visa processing and the visa interview will be completed at a US consulate in their home country.

Parents residing within US borders will need to seek an adjustment of status with Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. To be eligible for an adjustment of status, specific eligibility criteria must be met. 

Required Documentation for Green Card Application

Listed below are the supporting documents necessary for both the US citizen and their parent:

  • US Citizen:
    • Birth certificate or passport to prove citizenship
    • Evidence of financial ability to support the parent, known as an Affidavit of Support
  • Parent:
    • Passport
    • Birth certificate
    • Marriage certificate (if applicable)
    • Divorce or death certificate of any previous spouses (if applicable)

Understanding the Affidavit of Support requirements is critical to the application process. It’s a separate form of binding contract ensuring your parent will have adequate financial support and won’t rely on public benefits.

Common Challenges and How to Overcome Them

When assisting our clients with obtaining a green card for their parents, we often encounter several challenges. Here’s how we address them:

Proving the Parent-Child Relationship

In some cases, especially when dealing with adoptions, name changes, or step-parents, proving the family relationship can get tricky. To strengthen the petition, certain documentation may be necessary, such as:

  • Birth certificates with the names of parents
  • Adoption decrees that establish the legal relationship
  • Affidavits from third parties having knowledge of the relationship

Affidavit of Support Issues

An Affidavit of Support is a document a sponsor signs to accept responsibility for the green card applicant. Some common problems here include:

  • Insufficient income
  • Unemployment

It is crucial to gather financial documents that show stable income, and in cases where income doesn’t meet the requirements, to find a qualified joint sponsor. For a detailed assessment of your needs, our green card lawyers can provide you with a tailored approach to effectively overcome these challenges.


Sponsoring a family-based immigrant visa for your parents is an important step to reuniting your family. At JQK Law, your future and your family’s future is our priority. We can help you through the journey, ensuring you and your loved ones are supported throughout the process.

Why Choose JQK Law Firm

At JQK Law, we understand that bringing your parents to the United States is more than just a process—it’s uniting your family. With our decades of experience in family-based immigration, we pride ourselves on our commitment to making your family’s future our priority.

When navigating the complexities of helping parent visa petitioners, our team ensures that each step is taken with care and precision. We know the importance of family, and our firm assists clients seeking a variety of family-related immigration services, such as marriage green cards. However, we do not handle cases in immigration court, deportation proceedings, removal defense, or criminal arrests.

Our approach is personal, and we treat every client with respect and dignity. We understand how frustrating the immigration process is and we will hold your hand through your immigration journey. Our team prides itself on responsiveness, and we aim to provide clear, concise advice that helps you understand your options and the next steps to take.

We invite you to contact our family immigration legal services for a consultation. We can discuss the specifics of your situation and outline a tailored strategy suited to your needs. Let us help you bring your loved ones closer. 

Contact JQK Law today—let’s take this important journey together!

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