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How to Sponsor Your Parents for U.S. Immigration

Posted on in Visas

Darien family immigration lawyer immediate relative visaCaring for one’s parents is a commitment from the heart for many people, and a moral duty for others. In any case, most people want to have their parents close to them throughout their lives. If you have chosen to make the United States your permanent home, you may wish to sponsor your parents for immigration through an immediate relative visa.

One of the stated goals of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is “to secure America’s promise as a nation of immigrants by uniting families.” USCIS makes it relatively easy for you to bring your spouse and children to join you in the U.S., and bringing parents over is also fairly easy.

Who Can Sponsor Parents for an Immediate Relative Visa (IR-5)?

If you are a U.S. citizen currently living in the United States, and you are at least 21 years of age, you can sponsor your mother and father for immigration using the IR-5 visa category. You will need to demonstrate that you have enough income and/or assets to support the immigrant(s) you are sponsoring. You will be required to accept legal responsibility for their financial support by signing an Affidavit of Support. You will also need your birth certificate proving your parent-child relationship.

If you are married, you cannot sponsor the immigration of your mother-in-law or father-in-law. If your spouse meets the aforementioned citizenship and age requirements, your spouse can sponsor his or her own parents.

A lawful permanent resident (LPR), or green card holder, does not qualify to sponsor their parents for immigration.

What Is the Process, and How Long Will it Take for Parents’ Immigration to Be Authorized?

There is no annual quota for IR-5 visas, so your parents will be able to immigrate as soon as your petition and their application are processed and approved. An IR-5 visa provides green-card status, so your parents will be eligible to work immediately upon their arrival in the U.S. 

From start to finish, the process should take less than one year, depending on USCIS backlogs. This assumes that your parents are not inadmissible for some reason, such as a criminal record.

To start the process as a sponsor, you must file a Petition for Alien Relative (USCIS Form I-130). As of February 2019, the expected processing time for IR-5 petitions is 6 to 10 months.

If your parent is living outside the US: When USCIS has approved your petition (or it is at least pending approval), USCIS will send your parent a Notice of Action (Form I-797) instructing them to go to their local U.S. consulate to complete visa processing. They will need to complete a medical examination and vaccination, gather all the required documents, and attend a visa interview. This part of the process may take two or three months.

If your parent is physically present in the US: They may be eligible to file for an adjustment of status using Form I-485. Your parent must be in the U.S. on a long-term visa such as a student or work visa; they cannot be in the U.S. on a tourist visa or visa waiver. If your parent is eligible to use Form I-485, it can be filed at the same time that you file Form I-130; your Form I-130 does not need to be approved before your parent applies for adjustment of status in this case. As of February 2019, the expected processing time is 9 to 15 months.  

Call on a Skillful Fairfield County Family Immigration Attorney

If you want to sponsor your parents for immigration to the U.S., call 203-323-1440 for a Stamford immigration lawyer with over 15 years of experience. Gonzalez Law Office, LLC focuses our practice on family-based immigration, naturalization, and deportation defense services.

Sources:

https://www.uscis.gov/family/family-us-citizens/bringing-parents-live-united-states-permanent-residents

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/family-immigration.html

https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/wait-times.html#

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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