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Can I help my elderly mother immigrate to the U.S.?

Can I help my elderly mother immigrate to the U.S.?

| Jun 29, 2020 | Family-Based Immigration

For many individuals with a parent living outside the United States, the desire for closer proximity becomes a necessity as they age and require more care and assistance. Time can seem to pass more quickly as aging progresses—and sponsoring them for immigration can be a long process. However, it is possible to petition for a green card for your parent if you and your parent meet specific eligibility requirements.

The process for mothers is a little clearer than it is for fathers because the claim biological mothers have to their children is concrete and indisputable. However, there are also ways to bring a non-biological mother to the U.S. First, let’s examine the guidelines for you, the petitioner.

What requirements do I need to meet?

United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lists two eligibility factors for those wishing to sponsor green cards for their parent:

  • You must be a U.S. citizen (permanent residents, aka green card holders, are not eligible)
  • You must be at least 21 years old
  • You must be willing to act as a financial sponsor (Form I-864, Affidavit of Support) for your mother
  • With some exceptions, your principal place of residence (aka your domicile) must be in the United States

What requirements does my mom need to meet?

The guidelines for a potential family-based immigrant depend entirely on the relationship the petitioner has with that person.

To petition for your biological mother, you must submit:

  • Form I-130
  • A copy of your birth certificate, which lists your name and your mother’s name
  • A copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport if you were born outside of the U.S.

To petition for your stepmother, you must submit:

  • Form I-130
  • A copy of your birth certificate, identifying your birth parents
  • A copy of the marriage certificate between your biological father and your stepmother, showing the marriage occurred before your 18th birthday
  • If your stepmother and biological father were previously married, evidence of the legal termination of their prior marriages
  • A copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport if you were born outside of the U.S.

To petition for your adoptive mother, you must submit:

  • Form I-130
  • A copy of your birth certificate
  • A copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport if you were born outside of the U.S.
  • A certified copy of your adoption certificate, proving that your adoption took place before your 16th birthday
  • Documentation showing you were in the physical and legal custody of your adoptive mother for at least two years before or after your adoption
  • A copy of your Certificate of Naturalization or U.S. passport if you were born outside of the U.S.

These are the baseline requirements for the I-130 Immigrant Petition, the first step towards receiving a green card in the United States. There are several other steps to the sponsorship process, including your mother’s application for a green card or an immigrant visa if she’s located outside the U.S. You should plan in advance and make sure you understand all the requirements you need to meet.

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