Your parents may have made sacrifices when you were a child that you remain thankful for to this day. Maybe your dad worked two jobs to pay for your schooling fees, or your mom raised a huge family, which inspired you to get a professional job to contribute.
Your personal path led to the United States, where you now live. You may want to share your success with those who love you. Most of your family members likely still live abroad. Especially if your parents are now close to or past the age of retirement, you may like the idea of helping them enter the United States so that you can support them in their golden years.
Can you help your parents legally enter the United States?
There is an option for United States citizens
There are several immigration programs that focus on close family members. However, spouses and unmarried, minor children are the main focus of the most commonly-utilized family immigration programs.
Your parents have fewer options than your children or your spouse, but you can potentially help them. You simply need to be a United States citizen to do so. If you are a citizen over the age of 21, you can potentially help your parents get green cards, which will mean that they enter the country as permanent residents and can live here for the rest of their lives, provided that they don’t make themselves ineligible through criminal activity.
If you have permanent resident status but have not become a citizen or if you enter the country and live here with a visa, you are not currently in a position to help your parents move to the United States.
Naturalization can expand your options
You don’t need to be a natural-born citizen to reconnect with your parents who live in another country. Permanent residents have the option of naturalizing and becoming United States citizens. This process will require paperwork and an interview, which includes two tests. After you complete that process, you will not only protect your right to stay in the country but will have an easier time supporting your family members if they would like to join you.
Learning about the different family immigration options and what family members you can support could help you reconnect with loved ones living abroad.