Supporting Your Parents
In navigating the complexities of immigration law, an 18-year-old U.S. citizen cannot sponsor their parents for permanent residency. However, understanding the necessary financial support, status adjustment, and public charge considerations is pivotal for when they become eligible to do so at the age of 21.
Affidavit of Support Requirements
A U.S. citizen must be at least 21 to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) when petitioning for their parents’ Green Card. This document legally obligates the petitioner to financially support the sponsored family member(s) financially, ensuring they have sufficient income or assets to maintain the minimum level of income required by law, which is currently at 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines. This obligation generally lasts until the sponsored family member becomes a U.S. citizen or can be credited with 40 quarters of work.
Adjustment of Status Possibilities
Once the child turns 21 and files a petition for their parents, the parents may have the opportunity to apply for an Adjustment of Status to lawful permanent resident if they are already in the United States. This process involves submitting Form I-485 and potentially attending an interview, during which they must prove their eligibility. Eligibility criteria include lawful entry into the United States and a valid immigrant visa number immediately available.
Understanding Public Charge Inadmissibility
When applying for a Green Card, the parents must not be inadmissible on public charge grounds. The public charge rule stipulates that individuals likely to become primarily dependent on the government for subsistence through public cash assistance or long-term care at the government’s expense are inadmissible. The evaluation involves the examination of the totality of their circumstances, including age, health, income, resources, education, and skills.