I am a civil engineer from China and I married a U.S. citizen. I am now a permanent resident and I want to bring my parents to the U.S. to reside here with my husband and myself. What is the process and how long does it take?
While your parents are free to come to the United States as tourists, you can only petition them for permanent residence when you become a United States Citizen.
As of now you are still a greencard holder (permanent resident). When you become a citizen, you can then file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative for each of your parents. Parents of U.S. citizens are considered immediate relatives so they don’t have to wait for a long time to get a visa number. Right now, it is generally 6 months for adjudication. Once the petitions are approved, your parents will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete visa processing. They will receive their Green Cards once they arrive in America.
Here are the documents you will need to file the petition:
- Documents to show you are a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old: birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or US. Passport
- Documents to prove family relationship with your parents: birth certificate showing your name and your parents’ names, marriage certificate of your parents
- If the above documents are not available, you can submit secondary evidence such as: church records, school records, census records, affidavits of knowledgeable persons
- Documents to show you can financially support your parents and your annual income is at least 125% of the U.S. poverty level for your household size: most recent tax returns, paychecks, or proof of liquid assets.
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