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 What are the options available for me to bring my elderly parents to the United States?

elderly parents
elderly parents

Title: What Are the Options Available for Bringing Elderly Parents to the United States?


Many individuals living in the United States wish to bring their elderly parents to live with them, whether for companionship, caregiving, or family reunification. While U.S. immigration laws offer pathways for family reunification, the process of bringing elderly parents to the United States can be complex. In this blog, we’ll explore the options available for sponsoring and bringing your elderly parents to the United States.

1. Family-Based Immigration: Immediate Relatives of U.S. Citizens

The most straightforward option for bringing elderly parents to the United States is through family-based immigration, specifically as immediate relatives of U.S. citizens. Immediate relatives include spouses, unmarried children under 21, and parents of U.S. citizens. Here’s how the process generally works:

  • As a U.S. citizen, you can file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of your parent(s).
  • After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
  • Your parent(s) will need to complete the required visa application forms, undergo a medical examination, and attend a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
  • Upon approval, they will receive immigrant visas and can enter the United States as lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders).

2. Family-Based Immigration: Family Preference Categories

If you are a U.S. citizen and your parents do not qualify as immediate relatives, they may still be eligible for family-based immigration under a family preference category. However, this category involves longer waiting periods, as it has numerical limitations and a backlog for certain countries. The process includes:

  • You file an I-130 petition for your parent(s) and wait for USCIS approval.
  • Once the petition is approved, it enters a visa bulletin queue, and your parents must wait until their priority date becomes current.
  • When their priority date is current, they can apply for immigrant visas at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.

3. Non-Immigrant Visa: Visitor Visa (B-2 Visa)

While not a permanent solution, your elderly parents may apply for a B-2 tourist visa to visit the United States for a limited duration. The B-2 visa allows them to stay temporarily for tourism, medical treatment, or family visits. To increase their chances of approval, they should provide a clear purpose for their visit, demonstrate strong ties to their home country, and show sufficient financial means to cover their stay.

4. Humanitarian Parole

In rare and exceptional circumstances, you may request humanitarian parole for your elderly parents if they need to enter the United States urgently due to medical or humanitarian reasons. Humanitarian parole is typically granted for a specific period and is not a permanent immigration solution.

5. Consider U.S. Citizenship for Yourself

If you are a lawful permanent resident (Green Card holder), consider taking steps to become a U.S. citizen. U.S. citizens have broader options and shorter waiting times for family-sponsored immigration, including the ability to sponsor parents as immediate relatives.


Bringing elderly parents to the United States involves navigating the complexities of the U.S. immigration system. While family-based immigration offers a direct path, other options like visitor visas and humanitarian parole may provide temporary solutions. Consulting with an experienced immigration attorney can help you determine the most appropriate approach based on your specific circumstances and goals. Reuniting with elderly parents in the United States can be a fulfilling journey, and understanding the available options is the first step towards achieving that goal.



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