Moving to the United States can drastically change your life. You could escape persecution that you faced in your country of origin for your religion or race. You may have better opportunities for education and employment or just more freedom of personal choice.
However, to obtain those opportunities, you had to leave behind people that you love in another country. You had to work hard to secure a visa or a green card. Eventually, you may hope to reconnect with your loved ones still living abroad. There are different rules for different family relationships.
How can you help your parents enter the United States as an immigrant who legally entered the country?
You must become a naturalized citizen
There are numerous different programs for family-based immigration. Those traveling on an educational or employment visa could bring their spouses or unmarried, minor children with them. Those with green cards have certain rights as well.
However, if you want to bring your parents to the United States to live permanently, you must be a citizen. There are no programs to facilitate parental immigration for permanent residents or visa holders. Once you are a naturalized citizen, you can help your parents obtain a green card themselves, meaning that they can potentially live with you in the United States for the rest of their lives. To reach that point, you will first have to undergo the naturalization process.
How do you become a citizen?
To naturalize or become a citizen of the United States in spite of your birth in a foreign country, you have to apply, typically after legally living in the United States for several years. There will be a background check, an interview and tests involved in the naturalization process. There will be an oral Civics test and an English language test that involves speaking, listening, reading and writing.
Although naturalization is a complex process, it is absolutely worthwhile. Naturalization not only protects your right to stay in the country, but it also expands your opportunities for supporting your family members to enter the United States. Learning about the rules that govern family-based immigration and the naturalization process could help you bring your parents to the United States to live with you.