Green Card Process
Author: Green Card Attorney Alena Shautsova
How to Get a Green Card for Parents
Parents of those US citizens who are over the age of 21 qualify to be what the USCIS considers an "immediate relative". Immediate relatives do not have to wait in line for visas because there is no cap for this particular category of an immigrant visa. Sponsoring parents for green card is a simple process of filing an I-130 on behalf of each of your parent individually. Afterwards, parents will have to file an I-485 Adjustment of Status or Application to Register Permanent Residence. If parents live in the US currently, the forms can be filed together in one package. Also, the filer has to make sure parents are not barred from coming to the US or in another words they are admissible. This is true even if the parents are already in the US, as the USCIS determines inadmissibility at the time of adjustment of status as well as at the time of admission at the border.
In addition, it is important to remember that one sponsoring parents must present an affidavit of support for each parent, and hence one income must allow sponsoring at least two immigrants. For income guidelines see form I 864P below.
Each I-130 will cost $420 in government filing fees and each I-485 will cost $1070 in filing fee’s (unless the parents are over the age of 79, in which case the fee is reduced by $85). The forms for advance parole and employment authorizations if filed together with adjustment of status in this case will not have a fee. Otherwise, they are also pretty expensive.
It is always recommended to have an attorney at least look over the documents if not prepare them for completely to avoid having to file and pay these fees again and reduce the risk of the parents becoming inadmissible.
If a parent or both of them are inadmissible sometimes they may qualify for waivers, these are extremely difficult even with the most experienced attorney and very expensive ranging from $4,000-$8,000 in legal fees alone.