It is very important to know and respect certain rules before applying for the residency or the Green Card. Being the parent of a U.S. citizen is not enough. Parents and children must all meet certain requirements. This is one of the fastest ways to obtain the citizenship, but all rules must be respected.

If you are a citizen and you are thinking about requesting the papers for your parents, this is what you should know before starting the process:

Cases in Which Citizens Cannot Petition for Their Parents

Citizens who were adopted when they were children cannot request a visa for their biological parents.

People who obtained the Green Card through the Special Immigrant Juvenile Status program and later obtained the citizenship through the naturalization process cannot request the permanent residence for parents who abandoned or abused them.

Who Are Considered Parents?

According to Immigration, they are an American citizen’s biological father or mother. They could also be the adoptive parents of the citizen, provided that the adoption took place before the adoptee was 16 years old. Finally, stepparents can also be petitioned by a citizen as long as the marriage between the stepparent and the biological one took place before the adoptee was 18 years of age.

Age to Request the Green Card for Parents

Citizens have to be at least 21 years old to request the papers for their parents. There is no possible exception to this rule.

Income Requirements for Citizens

The citizen must have good economic resources and enough income to petition for a family member.

Who Else Can Be Included in the Petition for the Parent?

Nobody. The citizen must submit a complete petition for the father and another one for the mother.


What Can Go Wrong?

The parent for whom the Green Card is being requested cannot have had any illegal situations in the U.S.