The United States of America is a dream destination for many people around the globe. People worldwide always search for better opportunities, including higher living standards, an improved healthcare system, and a renowned educational system. Similarly, the United States offers all the possibilities and benefits to immigrants.

Numerous possibilities are available to immigrate to the U.S., . At the same time, the legal pathways are always beneficial and are proved to be favorable for immigrants for their whole life in the United States.

In order to avail all the benefits of U.S. citizens, the foreign nationals must become Lawful Permanent Residents first, obtain a green card, and then can become U.S. citizens.

One of the shortest pathways to becoming a U.S. citizen is to be sponsored for a green card by an immediate relative. The parents, spouse, or children are considered the immediate family members and can sponsor a green card or an immigrant visa. With a green card, the parents can live and work in the states freely.

Immigrating to the U.S. through a Citizen Child

Similarly, under the condition that if a child born in U.S. turns 21 and can sponsor parent for green card persists, then it may become an opportune moment for parents, as their child of 21 years of age or older can invite them to the U.S. as immediate family members.

However, the process of immigrating to the U.S. through a child (U.S. Citizen) may become complex, as certain conditions must be met, or rejection is inevitable.

Furthermore, there are some additional stumbling blocks, as well as the legal procedures for successfully acquiring a green card based on a child who is a citizen of the United States. In addition to it, there are certain conditions for the legal options for parents who are:

  • Living in the U.S. Legally
  • Living in the U.S. Unlawfully
  • Living Abroad

These are different scenarios where the conditions for sponsoring the parents for a green card or an immigrant visa become different. These situations are described below.

Green Card for Parents

Foreign nationals can become Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) of the U.S. by obtaining a Green Card. According to the immigration law, the green card also makes it possible for non-citizens to live in the U.S. legally.

Additionally, these nationals have the freedom to reside and work anywhere in the nation. Furthermore, after three to five years, those with green cards can file for Naturalization and eventually become citizens of the United States permanently.

Green Card Sponsorship Requirements

Before applying for a family-based green card, the following conditions must be satisfied:

  • The applicant for a green card must be a citizen or authorized permanent resident of the United States.
  • Must have the financial resources to pay legal fees and cover the costs of any invited immediate family members.
  • They must continue to reside in the United States.
  • They must be able to show a qualifying link between the applicants and the petitioners themselves.

Furthermore, the important supporting forms and documentation and proof must be submitted when making a green card application.

Sponsoring Parents Lawful U.S Residing In The U.S.

The parents of a U.S. citizen have entered the states under legal status and have been residing there, then they can adjust status to permanent residents U.Shout leaving the U.S.

The process takes around 12 months once the following submissions are made:

  • I-130 petition for parents
  • U.S. citizenship proof
  • Documents supporting the relationship between the person seeking immigration.

Additionally, each parent must file an I-485 application along with these papers to transition from citizen to lawful permanent residence status. A supporting affidavit from each parent must be provided.

Sponsoring Parents Outside The U.S.

Under normal circumstances, if the parents are living outside the U.S. and they have a clear record that does not comprise them under an inadmissible category, then the process is smooth, and they can obtain a green card. However, the parents outside the U.S. cannot adjust status, as the process requires them to be present in the U.S.

Moreover, this process also includes consular processing. During this session, the parents must submit their related documentations and go through a visa interview at the U.S. embassy in their home country.

The petitioner’s immediate relative may also file it if the petitioner’s parents reside overseas. Usually, this process takes 12 to 18 months. Under these circumstances, the following steps must be taken:

  • Submitting a form I 130 application.
  • Evidence of U.S. citizenship.
  • Documentation proving your age, which must be at least 21.
  • Proof of your relationship with your parents in writing (birth certificate, medical certificates, etc.)

The National Visa Center (NVC), located in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, receives the applications after the USCIS has given them a few months to be reviewed. After that, the NVC will personally speak with the parents to go through any additional conditions for their immigration visa interviews. These interviews will take place at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in parent’s home country.

Immigration Possibilities for parents of U.S. Citizens Living in the U.S. Unlawfully

A child born in the United States becomes a U.S. citizen apart from the immigration status of his/her parents. If the parents have stayed in U.S. by a valid visa or illegally, even then, the citizen child retains the citizenship.

The child cannot sponsor the parents until he/she turn 21, since then, the parents cannot become U.S. citizens.

  • Perhaps the parents entered the country illegally or on an expired visa, and the child was born there.
  • Alternatively, it’s possible that the parents brought the child from abroad, and the child somehow qualified for a green card while the parents did not.

In any of these scenarios, the parents must be aware that they are no longer admissible to the United States if their unauthorized stay lasted at least 180 days.

Immigration Process for parents of U.S. Citizens Staying Legally

The parents of U.S. citizens can quickly adjust their status and become immediate relatives and have the privilege of becoming a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Additionally, it entails completing all the paperwork necessary for the immigrant visa interviews at the local USCIS office or locations.

Inadmissible Parents

The USCIS have established a criteria to decide who is permitted to enter the US. However, some entrants are termed inadmissible to the states if they pose a severe security threat to the country; under those circumstances, the applicants are barred from entering the country. Some of the conditions can include terrorism, drug trafficking, or prostitution, and other criminal convictions.

The major obstacle for a non-citizen parent of a US citizen is their continued illegal presence in the nation.

  • Immigrants who entered the US illegally and stayed there for more than 180 days but no longer than a year are inadmissible for three years.
  • Immigrants who have lived in the US illegally for more than a year are ineligible for admission for ten years.
  • Immigrants previously have faced deportation proceedings.

However, under these circumstances, the citizen child may not be able to sponsor parents for a green card.

Immigration Law For Adjustment of Status for Immigrant Parents of US Citizens’ Children Over 21

According to the USCIS, if the parents are legally residing in the United States and do not have any inadmissibility condition, and their child is 21 years or above. They can adjust their immigration status to permanent residents while being in the country.


  1. Can I apply for a green card if my child is a U.S. citizen under 21?

Yes, you are eligible to apply for a green card if your child is a U.S. citizen child and you do not fall under the inadmissibility conditions. However, it is better to follow the legal advice of an experienced immigration attorney for better outcomes.

  1. At what age can a child sponsor parents for a green card?

The child must be of at least 21 years or above.

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