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  • Bringing a Parent to Live in the United States

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    How Do I Bring My Parents to Live in the United States?

    This information is for United States (U.S.) citizens who wish to bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S. Note: Lawful permanent residents may not petition to bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S.

    Overview of Immigration Process
    A legal immigrant is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. There is a two-step process for your parent to become a legal immigrant. First, the USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your parent. Second, if your parent is outside the United States, your parent will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your parent is legally inside the U.S., he or she may apply to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident using the Form I-485.

    What Does the Law Say?
    The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the admission of all immigrants to the United States. For the part of the law concerning immigrant visas for parents, please see INA § 201 and INA § 204. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for immigrant visas and permanent residence are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR § 204.1, 8 CFR § 204.2 and 8 CFR § 245.

    Who is Eligible to Sponsor a Parent?
    If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old, you are eligible to petition to bring your parents to live and work permanently in the United States.

    If you are a lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to petition to bring your parents to live and work permanently in the United States.

    How Do I File the Petition?
    To find out how you can petition for your parent to live in the United States permanently, please refer to the Petitioning Procedures, which will help you identify what steps you need to take.

    How Can I Check the Status of My Visa Petition?
    To check the status of your visa petition, you will need to contact the USCIS office that received it.

    Can Anyone Help Me?
    If advice is needed, you may contact the USCIS District Office near your home for a list of community-based, non-profit organizations that may be able to help you in applying for an immigration benefit.

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    NOTE: The above information does not address the specific requirements for any given case and is not a substitute for the advice of an attorney.

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