Immediate Relative Green Card (parents)

Parents of a U.S. citizen are immediate relatives and their ability to obtain an immigrant visa is not restricted by numerical limitations. Under the immigration laws, there are only a certain number of immigrant visas available for different classes of immigrants (the preference categories). An individual’s ability to apply for lawful permanent residence is determined by their “priority date.” For immediate relatives of U.S. citizens, these restrictions do not apply. If the U.S. citizen child is over the age of 21, he or she may file an immediate relative petition as a “one step” application, which would include the Form I130 (Petition for Alien Relative) the beneficiary’s Form I-485 (Adjustment of Status Application). In order to take advantage of this process, the parent of U.S. citizen must be in the U.S., and have proof of lawful entry (generally in the form of a Form I94 issued upon entry). The parent must show that he or she is admissible to the United States and not deportable. The burden of proof is on the petitioner to demonstrate that there is a family relationship. If the petitioner or beneficiary does not have a birth certificate or other proper documentation, the petitioner should consult an immigration attorney to determine appropriate documentation that is in accordance with the guidelines determined by the U.S. Department of State.

In situations where a U.S. citizen wishes to have a parent, who has entered the U.S. with a visitor’s visa, reside permanently in the U.S., the U.S. citizen and the parent must be aware of the legal concept of nonimmigrant intent. Those who enter the U.S. as visitors are understood to hold the intent to return to their home country before the designated period of stay expires. If a visitor takes steps to become a lawful permanent resident, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may perceive that to be contrary to the intent represented, and determine that the visitor has violated the terms or his or her stay. Consequently, the USCIS may find that the visitor committed misrepresentation, which is a serious violation of immigration law, and deny the application. Generally, the USCIS will scrutinize, among other factors, the timing of the steps taken by the parent to become a lawful permanent resident. As a result, it is very important that those wishing to apply for adjustment of status based on a family relationship consult an immigration attorney.

Alternatively, if the parent of a U.S. citizen is residing abroad, the U.S. citizen may file a Form I130. This is the first step of the immigrant visa process. When the USCIS approves the I130 petition, the approval notice is forwarded to the Department of State’s National Visa Center. Depending upon the beneficiary’s country, the National Visa Center will issue a packet of documents and process the initial forms. After the petitioner completes these documents, the National Visa Center will forward the case to the appropriate U.S. consulate. If the parent is granted an immigrant visa, he or she will enter the U.S. as a lawful permanent resident unless the Port of Entry Officer makes a determination that the Immigrant Visa was improperly granted.

After 9/11, this process has become more frustrating for many applicants because consular and USCIS procedures have changed frequently. Furthermore, consulates may issue a denial if there is an error or omission in the application, or if the applicant did not meet the regulatory guidelines in providing the necessary supporting documentation.

The Ranchod Law Group has offices in Sacramento California and achieves a high success rate because we:

  • Prepare all of the forms for our clients
  • Ensure that all of the documentary evidentiary requirements are met
  • Analyze proper documentary evidence proving a bona fide relationship
  • Evaluate whether birth certificate documentation meets the
    Department of State and USCIS regulations
  • Assess if photos are in accordance with USCIS regulations
  • Analyze your case to ensure you are in legal compliance
  • Manage your case through the entire process and contact USCIS if there are delays
  • Perform a simulated USCIS interview

We are also successful in obtaining approvals for our clients by evaluating the legal issues affecting eligibility for lawful permanent residence, including:

  • prior visa denials
  • unlawful presence
  • failure to maintain lawful status
  • public charge issues
  • proper documentation demonstrating a bona fide relationship