If I've got the green card can I petition for my parents if they were in the US out of status?

Any info will be profusely appreciated!

  • 2
    To petition for them to get green cards / permanent residency, you must be a US citizen, and over 21 years old. – mkennedy Nov 15 '15 at 0:44

First, as others have answered in answers and comments, US permanent residents cannot petition for parents. Only US citizens can petition for parents.

Furthermore, a petition is only about verifying the relationship; your parents' status, location, history, etc. are absolutely irrelevant to the petition itself. Once you become a citizen and have turned 21 and can petition for them, the petitions will be approved as long as the parent-child relationship between you and them is satisfactorily established. It's the next step (Adjustment of Status in the US, or Consular Processing outside the US) where their status may matter.

Since you said in comments that your parents entered the US legally, if they are still in the US by the time you become a citizen, they should do Adjustment of Status in the US. That they are out of status is not relevant, because they are in the Immediate Relative category. Your I-130 petition and the I-485 for Adjustment of Status should be filed together. They should definitely not leave the US until they get Advance Parole or green card because doing so will almost certainly incur a ban due to accrued unlawful presence.

  • Oh, so they can stay in the US with me until I become 21(by 20 I will be a US citizen) then +1? – Kyle Nov 16 '15 at 10:25
  • Thank you so much for clarifying so many things, I'm really grateful for it +1 – Kyle Nov 16 '15 at 11:54
  • 1
    @Calne "can"? No. Legally she cannot. She'd be breaking the law. But if she leaves, she won't be able to come back until your petitions are approved and the consulate gives her the visa. If she stays - she may be deported, won't be allowed to legally work, and would not be able to travel out of the country. – littleadv Nov 16 '15 at 16:12
  • @Calne: They "cannot" stay. But, if they do stay, and they manage to stay and don't get put into deportation until you become a US citizen and you turn 21, then they can do Adjustment of Status in the US. Once Adjustment of Status is filed, then they can stay. – user102008 Nov 16 '15 at 18:17
  • @user102008 okay, let me see if I got it right, if their six months expired, they should stay (otherwise they'll be deported), but will they be able to get the green card once I get 21 (being a US citizen) even if they're out of status? but what if their time hasn't expired yet, would they be able to do something to stay legally in the US until I become 21? Sorry I got a little bit confused and thank you guys so much for helping me – Kyle Nov 18 '15 at 10:17

You cannot petition for your parents at all, unless you're a US citizen. Once you are a naturalized US citizen - you may petition for them. If they're undocumented in the US (i.e.: entered the country illegally), they may be required to go back home and go through a visa interview at the US consulate. That visa may even be denied, despite your USCIS petition being approved. See here for more details.

There are special "waiver" committees, but you'll need to work with an immigration attorney on that.

  • 2
    "undocumented in the US" and "entered the country illegally" are two different things – user102008 Nov 15 '15 at 10:47
  • @user102008 exactly, in my question I said "no status", they've got into the country legally but they stayed for longer than they should have – Kyle Nov 15 '15 at 11:55
  • Thanks dude for the answer +1, thanks for explaining and for providing the article – Kyle Nov 15 '15 at 12:13
  • @user102008 undocumented means they haven't passed inspection on entry. That is how I understood the "no status" the OP mentioned, apparently what he meant was that they overstayed their visa (which is not the same as undocumented/no status) – littleadv Nov 15 '15 at 13:43
  • @Calne I think, then, you should say "out of status" instead of "no status" to be clearer. – Dan Getz Nov 15 '15 at 15:56

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