How Can Green Card Holders Bring Their Parents to USA?

Wanting to bring your aging parents to live with you is possibly the most natural desire for Indians. And, when they live as far as in America, the need to have your family close is quite common. In their eagerness to bring their parents to the US, people often believe that getting a green card status is enough. However, the unfortunate reality is that you need to become a US citizen first to be able to bring dependent parents to the country.

LPRs, or “Green Card” holders as they are usually called, are immigrants who have been granted lawful permanent residence in the United States but have not yet become citizens of the country. According to data from the administrative records of the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), an estimated 13.2 million LPRs lived in the United States as of January 1, 2014, and 8.9 million of them were eligible for naturalization. More than 60% immigrants received LPR status in 2000 or later.

Permanent residents or Green Card holders are only allowed to request family-based Green Cards for their married spouse or unmarried children.

Once the permanent resident becomes eligible to apply for citizenship, they can be naturalized. After this, they can apply for family-based Green Cards for their parents. The application process will not require any kind of waiting period, although it will involve the applicable bureaucracy, expense and processing time, according to the USCIS.

Visit this link to know when Green Card holders can becomes US citizens.

Immigration Eligibility

As I mentioned earlier, as a Green Card holder, you may petition for certain family members, such as your spouse and dependent children under the age of 21 to be allowed to immigrate to the United States as permanent residents.

However, only a US citizen who is at least 21 years old can file a petition for their parent(s) to live in the United States as Green Card holders. For this, a US citizen needs to submit certain documents along with the petition, including:

  1. Form I-130
  2. A copy of their birth certificate, showing their name and their mother’s name
  3. A copy of their Certificate of Naturalization or US passport, if they were not born in the United States
  4. A copy of their parents’ civil marriage certificate

Short Term Visit

Until the time that a Green Card holder becomes eligible to become a US citizen, they can call their parents to America for a short visit.

Parents can apply for a B1/B2 Visa if they intend a short visit to their Green Card holder children in the US. The B1/B2 visa is issued to visitors who are travelling to the US temporarily, for either business or pleasure, or a combination of both. The application fee for the most common non-immigrant visa types, including tourist, business, student and exchange visas, is $160. The visa processing time is typically three working days. However, it can get delayed due to individual circumstances and other special requirements.

The visa comes with an option of multiple entry. This is valid for 10 years, although it can be less in some cases. For a short term visit, the stay cannot exceed more than 6 months at a time, except if the visitor falls ill and is unable to travel.

So, if you are still a Green Card holder, do get your parents to visit you regularly. However, you will need to wait for citizenship to bring them to the US to live with you.

All the best!

About the author

Mani Karthik

Hi, Mani Karthik here. Having lived in USA, India & Middle East, and worked for big MNC's to startups, I have a lot to share with you. My aim is to help people, by sharing everything I've learned in life. This blog is read today, by more than 200K people world over! I'm basically from Kochi, Kerala and spend my time between Los Angeles and India. Here's my full story. Connect with me on FacebookInstagram, Twitter or WhatsApp (+001-408-489-4785). :)

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