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Petitioning Procedures: Bringing a Parent to Live in the United States
These are the basic steps required by a US Citizen of the USA. These steps should be followed as a guideline and not as specific requirements for any given case. Every case is unique and this does not address that uniqueness. This document contains condensed and general information obtained from www.uscis.gov, the primary source of reference for this document.




This information is for U.S. citizens who wish to petition for or “sponsor” their alien parent(s) to live permanently in the U.S. Only U.S. citizens are eligible to petition for their parent(s). A U.S. Citizen must be at least 21 years of age to petition for a parent. Lawful Permanent Residents may not bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S.

For Whom Are You Petitioning?

I am a U.S. Citizen and Petitioning for:

My mother:

If you are applying to bring your mother to live in the United States, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (please note: if you have been legally adopted, you may not petition for your birth parent):

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and your mother’s name
      If your name or your mother’s name is different now than at the time of your birth, you must provide evidence of the legal name change.
      If you were not born in the United States, a copy of either
           your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
           your U.S. passport

My father. I was born in wedlock:

If you are applying to bring your father to the United States to live, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (please note: if you have been legally adopted, you may not petition for your birth parent):

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and the names of both your parents
      If your name or your father’s name is different from the name on your birth certificate, you must provide evidence of the legal name change.
      If you were not born in the United States, a copy of either
      your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
      your U.S. passport
      A copy of your parents’ civil marriage certificate
      A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that would show that any previous marriage entered into by your mother or father was ended legally

My father. I was born out of wedlock and legitimated:

If you are applying to bring your father to the United States to live and you were born out of wedlock and were legitimated by your father before your 18th birthday and while you were unmarried, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (please note: if you have been legally adopted, you may not petition for your birth parent):

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name
      If you were not born in the U.S., a copy of either
      Your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
      Your U.S. passport
      Evidence that you were legitimated before your 18th birthday through
          A. the marriage of your birth parents, or
          B. the laws of the state or country where you live, or
          C. the laws of the state or country where your father lives
      If anyone’s name has been legally changed (differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be provided.

My father. I was born out of wedlock and was not legitimated:

If you are applying to bring your father to the United States to live and you were born out of wedlock and were not legitimated by your father before your 18th birthday and while you were unmarried, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (please note: if you have been legally adopted, you may not petition for your birth parent):

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name
      If you were not born in the U.S., a copy of either
      Your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
      Your U.S. passport
      Evidence of the father-son or -daughter relationship
      Evidence that an emotional or financial bond existed between you and your father before you were married or reached the age of 21.
      If anyone’s name has been legally changed (differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be provided.

My stepparent:

If you are applying to bring your stepparent to the United States to live, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services:

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name and the names of your birth parents
      If you were not born in the U.S., a copy of either
      Your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
      Your U.S. passport
      A copy of the civil marriage certificate of your birth parent to your stepparent showing that the marriage occurred before your 18th birthday
      A copy of any divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment decrees that would verify the termination of any previous marriage(s) entered into by your birth parent or stepparent
      If anyone’s name has been legally changed (differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be provided.

My adoptive parent:

If you are applying to bring your adoptive parent to the United States to live, you must file the following with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (please note: if you have been legally adopted, you may not petition for your birth parents):

      Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative (if you are filing for both parents, you must file a separate petition for each parent)
      A copy of your birth certificate showing your name
      If you were not born in the U.S., a copy of either
      Your Certificate of Naturalization or Citizenship or
      Your U.S. passport
      A certified copy of the adoption decree, showing that the adoption occurred before your 16th birthday
      A sworn statement showing the dates and places you have lived together with your parent
      If anyone’s name has been legally changed (differs from the name on his or her birth certificate), evidence of the name change must be provided.


Where to Get the Forms and Fee Information

Forms and fee information can be found on our Forms and Fees page. You may also go directly to a form by clicking on the form number where it is underlined on this page. For information on where to file, see the I-130 form entry page. You may also obtain forms from the USCIS Forms Center by calling 1-800-870-3676.

After Filing Your Petition

If your parent is currently in the United States, your parent may be eligible to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or to Adjust Status, at the same time as you file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. For information on how to file this application, please refer to How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In the United States?

You will be notified by the USCIS if your I-130 petition is approved or denied. If it is approved and your parent is outside the U.S., your parent will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete his or her visa processing. If your parent is legally inside the U.S. and did not file the Form I-485 Application concurrently with your petition, he or she may file at this time. For more information on adjusting to lawful permanent residence, your parent may refer to How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In the United States?

How Can I Appeal?

If the visa petition you filed for your parent is denied, the denial letter will tell you how to appeal and when you must file the appeal. After your appeal form and a required fee are processed, the appeal will be referred to the Board of Immigration Appeals. For more information, please see How Do I Appeal the Denial of My Petition or Application?