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How Do I Bring My Parents to Live in the United States?

This information is for United States (U.S.) citizens who wish to bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S. Note: Lawful permanent residents may not petition to bring their parents to live permanently in the U.S.

Overview of Immigration Process
What Does the Law Say?
Who is Eligible to Sponsor a Parent?
How Do I File the Petition?
How Can I Check the Status of My Visa Petition?
Can Anyone Help Me?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Information for Your Alien Relative

Overview of Immigration Process
A legal immigrant is a foreign national who has been granted the privilege of living and working permanently in the United States. There is a two-step process for your parent to become a legal immigrant. First, the USCIS must approve an immigrant visa petition that you file for your parent. Second, if your parent is outside the United States, your parent will be notified to go to the local U.S. consulate to complete the processing for an immigrant visa. If your parent is legally inside the U.S., he or she may apply to adjust his or her status to that of a lawful permanent resident using the Form I-485.

For an excellent overview of immigration, please see the chapter and tables on immigrants in the Immigration Statistical Yearbook.

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What Does the Law Say?
The Immigration and Nationality Act is the law that governs the admission of all immigrants to the United States. For the part of the law concerning immigrant visas for parents, please see INA 201 and INA 204. The specific eligibility requirements and procedures for applying for immigrant visas and permanent residence are included in the Code of Federal Regulations [CFR] at 8 CFR 204.1, 8 CFR 204.2 and 8 CFR 245.

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Who is Eligible to Sponsor a Parent?
If you are a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old, you are eligible to petition to bring your parents to live and work permanently in the United States.

If you are a lawful permanent resident, you are not eligible to petition to bring your parents to live and work permanently in the United States.

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How Do I File the Petition?
To find out how you can petition for your parent to live in the United States permanently, please refer to the Petitioning Procedures, which will help you identify what steps you need to take.

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How Can I Check the Status of My Visa Petition?
To check the status of your visa petition, you will need to contact the USCIS office that received it. Full instructions can be found at Finding the Status of Your Case.

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Can Anyone Help Me?
If advice is needed, you may contact the USCIS District Office near your home for a list of community-based, non-profit organizations that may be able to help you in applying for an immigration benefit. In addition, please see our web page that provides information on obtaining free legal advice.

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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)
Do you want further information? Click here for access to our Frequently Asked Questions on immigration.

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Information for Your Alien Relative
For more information on adjusting to permanent resident status, your parent should refer to How Do I Become a Lawful Permanent Resident While In the United States?

 
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