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Green Card for Parents

Parent Immigration Lawyers in Milwaukee, Wisconsin

You have arrived in the United States of America. You’ve made it through the immigration process and are now a legal permanent resident or citizen and taking full advantage of the situation. Now you’re thinking about your loved ones and how you might help them achieve the American Dream as well.

You desire the presence of your loved ones, that is very understandable. Because the United States’ immigration system is based in part on the concept of family unity, permanent residents and citizens can bring their families to the country as legal permanent residents. An experienced Milwaukee immigration lawyer can assist you and your family with the visa application process. 

To get started or learn more about the procedure, contact Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC today.

Why do I need a Parent Immigration Lawyer in Wisconsin?

The family-based immigration petition is one of the longest and most difficult immigration processes in the United States. It can take months or even years to finish the process. Reuniting relativesspecially parents is possible thanks to family-based immigration. Working with a qualified Milwaukee, Wisconsin parent immigration attorney can help you achieve your immigration goals.

Working with a professional Wisconsin immigration law firm will save you time and money while also preventing immigration delays. Contact one of Milwaukee parent immigration lawyers today.

What is a Family-based Immigration Visa?

green card for parents

Family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents (LPRs) may gain legal permanent status in the United States through family-based immigration.

In addition, filing for permanent residency permits you to get an employment authorization document (EAD), generally known as a “work permit,” which allows you to work legally in the United States while waiting for a decision on your green card application.

Before filing for an immigrant visa, a person who intends to immigrate to the United States must have a petition authorized by the USCIS. A U.S. citizen or a U.S. lawful permanent resident relative file the petition for family-based visas.

Types of Family-based Immigration Visa

There are two categories of family-based green cards: immediate relative and family preference. Green card applications in these two categories are handled differently. The relationship between the visa petitioner and the beneficiary will determine the application procedures and processing time.

Immediate Relative Immigrant (IR) Visas

This type of visa is available to close relatives of US citizens. Because there is no annual restriction on how many can be granted, the subcategory outperforms other types of family-based visas, and the adjudication process is also the quickest. The categories for immediate relatives are as follows:

  • IR-1: Spouse of a US citizen
  • IR-2: A U.S. citizen’s unmarried child under the age of 21.
  • IR-3: A U.S. citizen adopted orphan in another country.
  • IR-4: An orphan who will be adopted by a United States citizen.
  • IR-5: A parent of a United States citizen who is at least 21 years old.

Family Preference Immigrant Visas

This is only for certain family members of US citizens and lawful permanent residents. Unlike the immediate related category, family preference green cards have a numerical limit, and only a specific number can be issued each year.

Once the number for that fiscal year has been reached, other candidates will have to wait in a visa line. The wait might extend months or even years, depending on the amount of visa backlogs in each category. Green cards with a family preference are:

  • Family First Preference (F1): This category is for unmarried children of US citizens, as well as their young children. 
  • Family Second Preference (F2): This category includes the spouses, minor children, and unmarried children of lawful permanent residents (aged 21 and up)..
  • Family Third Preference (F3): This category comprises married children of United States citizens, as well as their spouses and minor children. 
  • Family Fourth Preference (F4): This category is for siblings, spouses, and minor children of US citizens. The citizen (petitioner) must be over the age of 21. 

Processing time of Green Cards

For Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

Because there are no numerical constraints in this category, visas are always available to applicants, resulting in a processing time of 5 to 12 months. Once the petitioner’s (US citizen) I-130 petition is approved by the USCIS, the immediate relative (IR) beneficiaries do not have to wait in line for a visa number.

This category is intended for U.S. citizens’ spouses, unmarried children (under 21 years old), and parents, as previously stated. If a kid of a U.S. citizen marries, he or she will no longer be eligible for this category.

For other family members of U.S. Citizens

Individuals who do not qualify as “immediate relatives” must apply under the family preference category since family members of US citizens are given priority in immigration procedures.

This group of people does not automatically qualify for visas. Applicants must wait for a visa number to become available after the I-130 has been accepted. It can take anything from 12 to 36 months to fill this subcategory. In exceptional circumstances, it could take 5 to 10 years.

For Lawful Permanent Residents’ family members

If you are a permanent resident of the United States, you can apply for green cards for your spouse and unmarried children (green card holder). Unlike a US citizen, a green card holder cannot petition for siblings, parents, or married children. The yearly visa cap for family members of green card holders is 114,200. It is separated into two subgroups, F2A and F2B, and is known as the second preference (F2).

  • F2A: This category is for spouses and unmarried children under the age of 21 who are green card holders. 
  • F2B: This category is for unmarried children of green card holders (aged 21 and up). 

Applicants for parents green cards in this category may expect a 12-month or longer processing time. In some cases, it could take anywhere from 5 to 10 years.

Family-Based Green Card Sponsorship Eligibility

When it comes to evaluating eligibility for family-based green card sponsorship, being a green card holder or a US citizen isn’t enough. Apart from the baseline need of citizenship or LPR, the following criteria must also be met:

  • You must be able to show that you and the visa recipient have a close family relationship. The relationship must fall into one of the above categories of immediate relatives or family preference.
  • Your primary residence must remain in the U.S.
  • As a green card sponsor, you must demonstrate that you are ready and able to financially support your parents once they arrive in the United States.  You will be required to sign an affidavit of support, demonstrating that your annual income is sufficient to support you, your parents, and all other household dependents.

For family-based green card sponsorship, the minimum income need is 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines.

Documentation Required for a Family-Based Green Card

The following are general documentation that will be required for green card processing for both immediate relative and family preference sponsorship:

  • A passport that is valid for at least six months further than the expected date of arrival into the United States is required.
  • Affidavit of support
  • Certificate of Birth
  • If applicable, a marriage certificate
  • If applicable, marriage termination papers
  • Form for medical evaluation for immigration
  • Two passport photographs. (The DOS picture standards must be met.)

Depending on your situation or the embassy in charge of your visa, you may be asked to provide additional documents. Make sure to check the embassy’s website for confirmation.

Green Card for Parents Who are Already in the United States

When the parent of a US citizen is in the US, the US citizen and the foreign national parent will apply for a green card through the adjustment of status process. Many possible obstacles can be waived for the parent because they are deemed an immediate family of the US citizen child. For example, some parents who are currently in the United States illegally can use the adjustment of status process to stay in the country while their case is being processed. If your parent come to the United States without being inspected, please contact us before submitting any papers with USCIS.

To start the green card adjustment of status process for parents of US citizens over the age of 21, your attorney will draft an immediate relative green card petition on behalf of the US citizen child, and also an adjustment of status application on behalf of the parent who is already in the US. The following components are required for proper filing:

  • the results of the parent’s immigration medical examination,
  • filing charges,
  • certificates of birth,
  • documentation of financial support and, if necessary,
  • evidence of a parent-child relationship

The parent will be offered an appointment to attend a fingerprinting session once the application has been submitted and authorized by the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). Following that, immigration officers will run a full background check on both United States and international criminal databases. 

Following the completion of the background investigation, USCIS will determine whether the parent and child must attend a green card interview at the local USCIS office or if the parent’s green card application can be accepted without one. Many instances will be verbally approved before the end of an interview if one is required. Within weeks, a green card will arrive in the mail. If desired, the parent can seek for citizenship in the United States five years after receiving their green card.

Green Card for Parents Outside the United States

The process of acquiring a green card for parents of US citizens who live outside the country differs from that of parents who live in the country. In order to receive a green card for parents of US citizens who are currently residing in another country, the US citizen child must first file a petition with USCIS. After USCIS authorizes the first immediate relative petition, the application package is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) of the US State Department, where each party (parent and child) is responsible for filling out relevant papers and paperwork.

A suitable affidavit of support must be completed and submitted by the US citizen child, in which the child promises to be financially liable for the parent for a period of up to 10 years. The foreign national parent will be responsible for filling out State Department visa applications and getting important documents from government officials, like birth certificates and police records. 

The parent will be booked for an interview at the US Embassy or Consulate where they live once the application papers and required documents were approved, background checks have already been completed, and the applicant passed the immigration medical test. If the interview goes well, the parent will be needed to enter the United States within six months.

Consular Processing

You can apply for an immigrant visa at a US Department of State consulate overseas to enter the country and become a permanent resident when you are outside of the US. This procedure is known as consular processing.

Consular Processing Steps

1. Determine Your Basis to Immigrate

The first step in consular processing is to determine whether you are eligible to apply for a Green Card (lawful permanent residence). After a family member or employer files a petition on their behalf, many immigrants become eligible. After obtaining refugee or asylum status, or after completing a range of additional requirements, some people become permanent residents.

2. File the Immigration Petition

You’ll almost probably need someone else to file an immigrant petition on your behalf once you’ve selected which category best fits your situation. When you want to apply for a Green Card based on your family ties, you should have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident relative file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf.

3. Wait the result of your petition.

USCIS notifies the petitioner of the decision. If USCIS rejects your petition, you will be notified, along with information on how to appeal the decision. If your petition is approved and you live outside of the United States (or if you live in the United States but want to apply for an immigrant visa in another country), USCIS will send your petition to the National Visa Center of the Department of State. The petition will be held there until an immigrant visa number is assigned to you.

4. Wait for notification from the National Visa Center.

The National Visa Center (NVC) collects visa application fees and supporting documents. The NVC will notify the petitioner and beneficiary when an immigrant visa number becomes available after the petition is submitted. They’ll also notify you when you need to pay immigrant visa processing fees (often referred to as “fee bills”) and provide supporting documentation.

5. Attend to your appointment

When a visa is available or your priority date is current, the consular office will schedule an interview for you (earlier than the cut-off date mentioned in the monthly Visa Bulletin). The consular office will examine your case and determine whether or not you are qualified for an immigrant visa.

6. The National Visa Center should be notified of any changes.

You do not need to contact the National Visa Center about your petition; they will contact you for the information they require. You should, however, alert the NVC if:

  • Your address has changed.
  • You were under the age of 21 at the time but are now 21, or
  • Your marital status has been changed.

Please be aware that these changes could affect your eligibility or visa availability.

7. Following the approval of your visa

If you are granted an immigrant visa, the consular officer will provide you a packet of information. A “Visa Packet” is a packet that should not be opened.

It will be necessary to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee. USCIS will utilize this fee to process your immigrant visa application and issue your Green Card. It is recommended that you pay the fee online after receiving your visa packet and before travelling for the United States.

When you arrive in the United States, show your Visa Packet to a US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer at the port of entry. The CBP officer will inspect you and determine whether you are a lawful permanent resident of the US. You will be able to live and work in the United States indefinitely if the CBP officer grants you legal permanent resident status.

8. Get your Green Card!

If you did not pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee before landing in the United States, you will be required to do so before receiving a Green Card.

You will receive your Green Card in the mail after arriving in the United States and paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

Call a Parent Immigration Attorney in Milwaukee Now!

Our family green card lawyers treat their clients with professionalism. We devote time to each client in order to fully comprehend their unique requirements for citizenship.

Parent immigration lawyers at Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC have a comprehensive understanding of the procedures and documentation needed to submit a successful petition. We will assist you in properly preparing your petitions and documents in order to avoid RFEs, which can delay the process.

Contact Miller & Miller Immigration Lawyers, LLC right away to learn more about how we may assist you in obtaining a green card for your parents. Let’s talk about your parents’ immigration today!

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