Visas for Parents


United States citizens may apply for immigrant visas for their parents under US law. Parents of US citizens are considered “immediate relatives,” which means there is always a visa available to them and they are not subject to quotas and long wait times. A “parent” of a US citizen is defined as a biological mother or father. A stepparent may also qualify in cases where the marriage was entered into before the petitioning son or daughter turned 18 years old.

In many cases the petition process is completed while the parent resides abroad. In these cases the parent obtains an immigrant visa from the Department of State at a US Consulate in their home country. Upon entry to the US with an immigrant visa, the parent becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident (greencard holder).

In some cases a parent who is already in the United States, having entered on a tourist visa or other nonimmigrant visa, may be eligible to apply for a greencard without returning to the home country for consular processing. Factors concerning a parent’s ability to do this are complex, and each case should be analyzed carefully prior to filing a petition.

* This web site is designed for general information only. The information presented at this site should not be construed to be formal legal advice nor the formation of a lawyer/client relationship. Please contact us for more information.