Friday, June 4, 2010
What are the requirements to sponsor my parent for a Green card?
The family-based green card process is a process by which you can sponsor your family member for lawful permanent resident status. You can sponsor a Green card for parents, if you are U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. Permanent residents are not eligible to sponsor a parent for a Green card. The family-based green card process is a multi step process. The first step is to file Form I-130, Petition for alien relative on behalf of each parent. Form I-130 is used to establish the relationship between you and your parent. You need to file an immigrant petition Form I-130 on behalf of your parents and submit it to USCIS. Once USCIS approves your Form I-130, your parents can apply to adjust status to permanent resident status on Form I-485, if they are already inside U.S. If they are outside U.S., they need to contact the local U.S. consulate to complete the family-based green card process. If your parents are already in the United States with a legal status, then you have the option of filing Form I-130 and Form I-485 at the same.
The family-based green card process requires that you have enough income and/or assets to support your parents when they come to United States. You can do this by filing Form I-864, Affidavit of support. The affidavit of support helps to ensure that your parents will not
become a public charge. Public charge means to rely on public benefits such as Food Stamps, Supplemental Security Income, Medicaid, and Temporary Assistance to Needy Families. If your parents become a permanent resident and is later given certain public benefits, the agency that gave the benefits may require that you repay that money.
USCIS requires that you have an income level at 125% of the federal poverty level. If your income does not meet this requirement, you can use your assets to satisfy this requirement. Assets such as savings account, stocks, property may be considered. Another way to satisfy this requirement is by adding the income of certain household members. Your household member will be required to complete and sign Form I-864A, Affidavit of Support Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member assuring to make their income and assets available to support your parent.
Supporting documents to be included when you file Form I-130:
1) You need to file Form I-130 with evidence that you are a U.S. citizen.
2) Your birth certificate.
Please note that you must file separate Form I-130 for each parent, if you are filing for both of your parents.
Family based greencard applications are processed faster by USCIS when compared to other green card applications. You and your parents may be required to attend an interview. If the interview is successful, the green card will be sent by mail to the address listed on Form I-130.
After your parents receive permanent resident status, they will have the right to live and work legally in the United States. Your parents will be eligible for U.S. citizenship after 5 years of permanent residence.