Immigration Law Is All About Family

Can you help your aging parents legally enter the United States?

On Behalf of | Mar 20, 2023 | Family Immigration

Many people who immigrate to the United States want to share their good fortune with their families. Most popular visa programs allow people to help spouses and unmarried minor children enter the country with them. However, family members who do not live in the same household as a visa holder don’t generally have those same options. Even after getting a green card, someone is usually only empowered to help spouses and children enter the country.

Those who become naturalized citizens may still have people that they love back in their country of origin. It is natural to want to help family members after achieving personal success. Parents may have made many sacrifices so that an immigrant could achieve their career and personal dreams. Their work may have played a major role in their now-adult child entering the country. Naturally, those children would want to offer similar support to their parents. Can immigrants help their parents move to the United States for their golden years?

Yes, naturalized citizens can sponsor their parents

The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services USCIS has a special program to help people facilitate their parents’ entry into the country. A citizen will need to have documentation of their status and also of their relationship with their parent living abroad. Provided that they have the right records and their parents can pass a background check, they can help their parents travel to the United States.

In fact, citizens can often secure their parents’ green cards, which means that they can stay as permanent residents. However, the individual with parents living in another country will need to become a naturalized citizen to help their parents, as permanent residents can’t secure green cards for parents, siblings and other family members.

There is more than one way to help a parent

Someone who does not yet meet the criteria to naturalize may wonder if that means they will have limited contact with their parents for the rest of their life. Thankfully, that is not always the case. Green card holders and naturalized citizens have the option of traveling back to their country of origin. They can also partner with legal help in the United States to explore various immigration programs, one of which may apply to their parents. Exploring family circumstances in depth with the assistance of a legal professional can help people evaluate whether their loved ones qualify for a specific family immigration program.