A Green Card, officially known as a Permanent Resident Card, is a valuable document that grants non-U.S. citizens the right to live and work in the United States permanently. Many individuals aspire to obtain a Green Card as it offers various benefits and opportunities. One common question that arises is whether parents of a child born in the USA are eligible to apply for a Green Card. In this blog post, we will explore the answer to this question and provide a comprehensive guide to the eligibility criteria and application process.
Eligibility for a Green Card
In order for parents to be eligible to apply for a Green Card based on the fact that their child was born in the USA, there are two main requirements that need to be met.
Age requirement of the child
One crucial criterion is that the child must be 21 years old or over. Once the child reaches the age of 21, they can sponsor their parents for a Green Card. Prior to turning 21, the child does not have the legal ability to petition for their parents.
Intention to live in the USA on a permanent basis
The second requirement is that the parents must have the intention to live in the USA on a permanent basis. This means that they should be willing to establish their residence and make the USA their permanent home. It is essential to demonstrate this intention through the application process.
Applying for a Green Card
Filing the necessary forms and documentation
Once the eligibility criteria are met, the parents can begin the process of applying for a Green Card. The first step is to file the appropriate forms, specifically Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form is used to establish the relationship between the child and their parents, and it will serve as the basis for the Green Card application.
In addition to the forms, certain documents need to be submitted as part of the application package. These typically include copies of birth certificates, passports, and any marriage certificates, if applicable. It is important to gather these documents ahead of time to ensure a smooth application process.
Meeting the immigration requirements
Along with the forms and documentation, it is crucial to meet the immigration requirements set by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
All applicants for a Green Card, including parents of a child born in the USA, are subject to background checks. This involves a review of criminal records, immigration history, and any other relevant information. It is important to have a clean record and be honest about any past legal issues.
Another requirement is proving financial stability. This can be established through income documentation, such as tax returns, employment verification, and bank statements. The purpose of this requirement is to ensure that the parents will not become a financial burden on the U.S. government.
As part of the immigration process, the parents will need to undergo a medical examination. This examination ensures that they do not have any contagious diseases or conditions that would be a public health concern. The examination must be conducted by an authorized medical professional and the results need to be submitted with the application.
Affidavit of Support
Parents applying for a Green Card will also need to provide an Affidavit of Support. This is a legal document that demonstrates the financial ability of the child to support their parents. The child will need to meet certain income requirements to demonstrate that they can provide for their parents without relying on public assistance.
Considerations for Parents
Timing of the application
It is essential for parents to consider the timing of their Green Card application. As mentioned earlier, the child must be 21 years old or over. Therefore, it is crucial to start the application process once the child reaches the required age to avoid any delays or complications.
Cost of the application process
Parents should also be aware of the cost associated with the Green Card application process. There are various fees involved, including the filing fee for Form I-130, the medical examination fee, and the Affidavit of Support fee. It is important to budget for these expenses and be prepared to cover them during the application process.
Changes in immigration policies
It is important to stay updated on any changes in immigration policies and regulations. Immigration laws can change over time, and it is crucial to be aware of any updates or revisions that may affect the Green Card application process for parents of a child born in the USA.
Rights and Benefits of a Green Card
Obtaining a Green Card opens up a range of rights and benefits for the parents of a child born in the USA.
Authorization to live and work in the USA
A Green Card provides the parents with the authorization to live and work in the United States on a permanent basis. This means they can pursue employment opportunities, start a business, or engage in any other lawful activities in the country.
Access to public benefits and programs
Green Card holders are also eligible for certain public benefits and programs. This includes access to healthcare, educational opportunities, and social security benefits. Parents can take advantage of these benefits to improve their quality of life and secure their future in the USA.
Eligibility for US citizenship
Perhaps the most significant benefit is that having a Green Card for a certain period of time makes parents eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship. This is a desirable outcome for many individuals who have made the USA their home and wish to enjoy the full rights and privileges of being a U.S. citizen.
Parents of a child born in the USA have the opportunity to apply for a Green Card and pursue a path to permanent residency. By meeting the eligibility criteria and going through the application process, parents can enjoy the rights and benefits that come with having a Green Card. It is important to stay informed, gather the necessary documents, and adhere to the immigration requirements to increase the chances of a successful application. With proper documentation and a clear intention to make the USA their permanent home, parents can embark on a journey towards a brighter future for themselves and their child born in the USA.