How Can You Get a Green Card for a Parent?

A United States citizen can help an immediate family member become a permanent U.S. resident. But you may wonder if parents qualify as immediate family members. Can you apply for your parents to come to the U.S. and get Green Cards?

Can a Parent Get a Green Card?

Your parents may be eligible for a Green Card if the following is true about you:

  • Are a U.S. citizen
  • Are at least 21 years old
  • Meet the financial qualifications to sponsor your parent’s immigration
  • File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves the form and accepts your request

How Can You Get a Green Card for a Parent?

Getting a Green Card for a parent begins with filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The form proves that you and your relative have a relationship that qualifies them for immigration to the U.S. The law views parents as immediate relatives and will prioritize their immigration instead of adding them to a waiting list. After USCIS approves your I-130 petition, the following steps include:

  • The U.S. Department of State National Visa Center will invite your parents to apply for immigrant visas.
  • Pay the Immigrant visa application processing fee and the Affidavit of Support fee.
  • File Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, and send evidence of your finances.
  • Each immigrating parent must complete Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, and scan and submit supporting documentation online.
  • Your parents must complete a medical examination and interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate for their country.
  • Pay the USCIS immigrant fee to USCIS for each approved visa.
  • Make travel arrangements for your parents. An immigrant visa is usually valid for up to six months from the issue date.
  • Upon your parents’ arrival in the U.S., Customs and Border Protection will review their documentation and grant or deny admission.
  • If admitted, each parent will enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident, or Green Card holder, permitted to live and work in the U.S.

The USCIS will confirm receipt of your forms and contact you if they require additional information. Your attention to detail with form completion and sending documents as requested will keep the Green Card process moving forward.

What If Your Parents Are Already in the U.S.?

If your parents are already in the U.S. and entered legally, you must still file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Your parents may be able to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, at the same time.


If you are a U.S. citizen aged 21 or older, you may be eligible to help your parents get Green Cards. Begin the process by completing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, and providing documentation that proves your relationship. Also, you must provide proof of your ability to provide financial support for your parents. And your parents must apply for an immigrant visa. Incomplete applications or missing documents will cause delays. So, guidance from an immigration attorney will keep the process moving forward.

Request a Green Card Consultation

If you are interested in helping your parents or another relative get a Green Card, Attorney Lisa Wogwu of San Antonio, Texas, is a reliable guide. Attorney Wogwu’s professionalism and compassion give families direction and confidence throughout immigration. Schedule a consultation today.