MOTHER’S DAY: HOW TO HELP YOUR MOM TO STAY OR COME TO THE US
Author: New York Immigration lawyer Alena Shautsova
A mother is the dearest, the dearest and the most loving person… I cannot describe and count how many inquiries I receive from children of all ages who would like their moms to live with them in the United States.
Let me help you a little bit in clarifying certain important points.
1. Only US citizens have a right to sponsor their mothers. Unfortunately, U.S. permanent residents or green card holders cannot sponsor their mothers (or fathers) into the US
2. To sponsor your mother (or father) you need to be 21 years old
3. To sponsor your mother (or father) you need to be able to execute an affidavit of support or find a joint sponsor
4. It is possible to sponsor a parent who came to the US using a visa or a parole, even if now their status had expired
5. A parent who entered the country illegally usually cannot get a green card without leaving the United States, unless he/she qualifies for Parole in Place, or 245(i) INA exception, or some other exception
6. A parent who came to the US via visa but did not state on application that the child was already in the Unites States, will need a waiver to get an Immigration benefit in the United States, including a green card
7. Finally, a parent who has been abused, may self-petition using form I-360
8. All petitions for parents (apart from self petitions) start with filing I-130 forms (and sometimes together with I-485 form, if applicable)
It will be necessary to prove that parent is the parent of the child. In most cases, it is easy by submitting a copy of the birth certificate. Sometimes, USCIS will demand a DNA test…
Finally, it is possible to sponsor a step-parent if the marriage of the parents occurred before child’s 18th birthday. A child who was adopted or received a SIJ status cannot sponsor his/parents if the adoption of SIJ became the basis for the child’s Immigration benefits in the US.
I hope these simple facts would help a little bit when you think about how you can help your mom. Remember: do your research and consult with an attorney. Many situations have solutions!