If you immigrated to America in the past and your parents want to join you, they need to apply for green cards. You can help them by filing a petition. This process involves lengthy forms and several complicated decisions.
You may only serve as a green card petitioner if you possess U.S. citizenship. The first step is to determine if your parents qualify to become permanent residents. You’ll need to look at their criminal and immigration histories.
Ask your parents about any legal charges or convictions. Don’t be surprised if your mother or father reveals a strange incident that happened many years ago. A criminal record in any nation can affect a person’s eligibility.
If a parent has a record that includes any charges or convictions, the immigration officials will want to see certified dispositions. Some crimes won’t prevent a person from obtaining a green card, but applicants still need to report them.
An individual’s U.S. immigration record also holds considerable importance. However, it will only affect a permanent residency petition if the person previously visited America or completed a visa application.
Federal officials hesitate to award green cards to people who submitted fraudulent visa requests in the past. Other types of visa denials are less problematic. They also scrutinize immigrants who have remained in the U.S. more than 90 days after their visas expired.
Your parents can use two different methods to apply for permanent residency. Consular processing frequently involves additional steps and more significant risks. Your mother and father would need to visit a U.S. consulate in their home country.
An alternative is to request an adjustment of status. The authorities can change your parents’ existing immigration status and allow them to remain in America permanently. This method only works if they have already entered the country.
It’s often easier to adjust a person’s status instead of using consular processing. Nonetheless, this procedure may involve significant risks. American law prohibits foreigners from acquiring temporary visas to gain green cards.
If your parents break the rule mentioned above, officials could charge them with immigration fraud. This will make it impossible to apply for green cards in the future. People ought to use the consular processing method if they haven’t visited America before.
A. Status Adjustments
To request a status adjustment, you’ll need to complete numerous forms and supply the correct documents. Remember to organize the papers logically. This step may determine if your petition succeeds or fails.
You’ll have to provide documents with information about yourself as well as your parents. The immigration authorities need to see your passport in addition to naturalization and birth certificates. They also want your parents’ marriage certificate, I-94 forms, medical examination reports, birth certificates, and passports.
When you submit the petition, send copies rather than original documents. Immigration officials might eventually ask to see the original papers. After 15 to 30 days, the government will confirm that it received your petition by mailing a letter.
Your parents can only qualify for an adjustment of status if they have one or more financial sponsors who meet specific requirements. The government will expect you to complete an affidavit known as Form I-864.
You’ll have to provide tax transcripts or returns for the last three years. Immigration officials want to see Form 1040; they don’t care about deductions or health insurance. Unless you’re self-employed, you should also supply copies of pay stubs and W-2 forms.
You could use assets to meet the financial sponsorship requirements if you don’t have enough income. Government officials may approve the status adjustment after they see proof of your savings, investments, or home equity.
You can also choose to document the value of any significant possession. For instance, you could provide details on a diamond ring or late-model vehicle. Try to avoid items that lose value quickly, such as electronics and recreational boats.
The government will ask your parents to visit an immigration facility about 15 to 45 days after you file the petition. Officials need to collect their biometric data and fingerprints. It may take up to 12 months for the authorities to arrange an interview or approve your application.
B. Consular Processing
If you opt to use the consular processing method, you’ll have to submit some of the same forms and papers. Your family will need to work with the National Visa Center, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, and the American embassy.
Like the status adjustment process, this method involves medical examinations and fingerprinting. Your mother and father must show original birth certificates, passports, and a marriage certificate to an official at the U.S. consulate.
If the government approves your petition, it will supply your parents with a visa and a select packet that must remain sealed. They need to visit the U.S. and give this packet to a customs official before they can receive green cards.
A small fee must be paid when your parents reach America. The authorities will print two permanent residency documents and send them to you in the mail. Don’t forget to make copies of these essential papers.
If you or your parents lack some of the necessary documents, you can probably find valid alternatives. Your home country’s government might supply new birth certificates; contact its embassy for further details.
American immigration officials may allow you to provide health, religious or educational records instead of a birth certificate. You could also undergo blood testing if you didn’t locate any acceptable papers.
Tests may create lengthy delays and increase the cost of acquiring green cards. You should only use this method when you cannot find any other way to demonstrate your familial relationship. Try to collect birth affidavits from relatives or medical professionals if possible.
As you can see, the process of obtaining a green card is rather complicated. A mistake or stupid decision could derail your parents’ plans. Fortunately, it’s possible to expedite approval and avoid problems by hiring an experienced immigration lawyer in Fairfax.
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