Can a green card holder sponsor a green card for parents or siblings?

No, only a US citizen can sponsor a green card for parents or family members. Green card holders may only sponsor a green card for a spouse and children.

How long does it take to get the green card for parents once the application is filed?

For certain categories like parents, spouse and children, the green card processing time is much less as compared to other family-based green card applications. Depending on the service center you have filed with, it can take few months to several months. In most cases, the application is processed within 6 months.

While the green card is pending, can my parents work in USA?

No, unless you have applied and received an EAD for them, they cannot work and receive any compensation.


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Application for Travel Document

The other optional step is to apply for Advance Parole travel document in case the parents need to leave and return to the United States while the green card application is being processed.

The filing fee is $575

Requirements to sponsor your Parents' Green Card 

To sponsor a green card for parents, you must meet certain criteria:

  • You must have proof of U.S. citizenship
  • You must be able to demonstrate a qualifying relationship. That is, show that you are the child of your parents.
  • You must file the Petition and then demonstrate that you can support them at 125% over the poverty line. This is important to keep in mind because by petitioning for your parents’ green card, you assume financial responsibility for supporting them.

Filing Fee for Parent’s Petition

There is filing fee for EACH Parent, each petition, of $535.

This is a family-based green card process that allows U.S. citizens to petition for their parents. It's not possible for Green card holders (permanent residents) to petition to bring their parents to the U.S.

To file a green card for parents (mother/father), you must be a U.S. citizen and at least 21 years old. You must file a Petition with the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS. 

If you, as the petitioning relative, are a U.S. citizen but currently live outside of the United States, or if you’ve been abroad for 6 months and the country you’re living in has given you permission to live there, then you can file the visa petition at an embassy or U.S. consulate.

Parent Green Card

Work Authorization Application for Employment Authorization (EAD)

This is optional if your parents want to work in the US. It's not required when applying for a green card. 

The filing fee is $410. 

Green Card for Parents Processing Time

Currently, the green card for parents processing time is slightly faster than others because parents are considered an immediate relative. There are no green card annual limits for parents. 

The current processing time for a petition for U.S. citizens filing for a parent is between 10.5-16 months depending on which service center or field office is processing it.

Process and Green Card Filing Fees

First, you must file a separate petition for each parent. This petition establishes the relationship.

Once the petition is approved, it's time to proceed to the Green Card application.

If your parents are outside USA, they will be informed and required to attend a green card interview at the applicable nearest US consulate in their home country. 

The interview needs to be scheduled and may require a medical exam. Parents need to pay a $1200 processing fee and attend the interview. You will also need to file an Affidavit of Support to prove that your parents will be supported financially in the US. 

If everything goes well, they will be granted an immigration visa (green card). 

Upon arriving in the US, they will get a stamp at the port of entry (POE) by an immigration officer, and in few days, they will receive a plastic green card delivered to their US mailing address. 

If your parents are already in the USA, you can file an Adjustment of Status (AOS) application along with a $1760 processing fee.

Medical exam 

This is required by all the applicants filing for a Green Card. The average doctors fee can be anything between $200 - $400. 

After completion of medical examination, the doctor is required to give the applicant the results in a sealed envelope. USCIS will return the form if it is unsealed or tampered with in any way.