People enter the United States for work, education and family purposes. People frequently discuss bringing spouses or children into the country, but fewer people talk about helping their parents immigrate.
Multi-generational families benefit everyone. They provide more independence and meaning for aging adults and more support for working parents with young children. The kids benefit from having more adults involved in their care. Living far from your parents can be emotionally difficult and cut you off from an important form of support.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) allows some people to help close family members enter the U.S. Can you help your parents get visas or become permanent residents with Green Cards?
Only citizens can sponsor parents for entry into the United States
Family-based immigration occurs in many forms. Someone traveling on a work visa can bring their spouse and unmarried, minor children with them. Someone who has a Green Card can help their immediate family enter the country through family preference visas. Citizens and permanent residents alike can help spouses and those to whom they’re engaged enter the country.
However, there are fewer options for those who want to help their parents enter the U.S. Currently, the only USCIS family immigration option for parents requires citizenship. Citizens can sometimes help their parents enter and stay in the country, but neither those with visas nor permanent residents can.
Understanding the law and carefully considering your family circumstances can help you determine if you can help your parents through family-based immigration. Experienced legal guidance can be very valuable.