Visas for parents to the United States

Explained Through An Illustrative Example

Parent Visa Process - An Illustrative Example

Because the laws and procedures in obtaining permanent residency for your parents are so complex, I think it may be very helpful to you if I illustrate the process by way examples.  Please note that this is only an example of how a parent can immigrate to the USA.

Disclaimer. The following is intended only to give you a general idea of the topic. It is NOT intended to be legal advice. Everyone’s goals and situations are unique. Please consult an attorney to determine which method is best for your specific goals.

How to obtain visas for your parents to the U.S.

Example: U.S. Citizen Daughter Petitions Her Mom Who Is In the United States and Her Father Who is In the Philippines

Christine recently became a U.S. citizen.  She wants to get a green card for her mom who is currently in the United States and her father who is still living in the Philippines.  Her mother is currently out of status (TNT) for overstaying her last entry as a tourist.  Her father has never been to the United States.

Attorney Avelino explained to Christine that although overstaying a tourist visa is never encouraged and illegal, the immigration laws will still allow her mother to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident based on her maternal relationship to a U.S. citizen (as an Immediate Relative) as long as her mother is otherwise admissible.

With the help of Attorney Avelino, they file the family petition and application to adjust status for Christine’s mother.  At the same time, Christine also files a family petition for her Father in the Philippines.

A few weeks after filing the package, they receive receipt notices for the petition and applications from USCIS. Once Amy receives the receipt notice for application to adjust status, she will be in "authorized stay" pending the outcome of her adjustment application.

In around one month after filing, Amy was scheduled for a biometrics appointment where they took her fingerprints and picture to conduct a background check.

Several months later, Christine’s mom is scheduled to appear at the adjustment interview at their local USCIS office.  Attorney Avelino prepares her for the interview and she passes the interview without any problems and the officer informs her he is approving their case.  (Sometimes in these types of cases the adjustment interview is waived, i.e., the mother would just receive her green card in the mail without having to go to the interview).

Shortly after the interview, USCIS informs Christine that her immigrant petition for her father has also been approved and being forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.  With the help of Attorney Avelino, Christine submits all of the required documentation to the NVC and the NVC schedules her father for an interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines.

With the help of Attorney Avelino, Christine’s father prepares all the necessary documents he will need to bring to the interview.  He pays the visa application fees and gets his medical examination completed at St. Luke’s Medical Center Extension Clinic (SLMCEC).  After consulting with Attorney Avelino on what he can expect at the interview, he goes to the interview feeling confident and is approved for his immigrant visa.  Shortly afterward, his passport with the immigrant visa stamp is delivered to him by courier.

However, before he can leave the Philippines on his immigrant visa, he must register with the Commission on Filipino Overseas’ (CFO) and attend its guidance and counseling seminar.  The seminar aims to prepare Filipino emigrants for the adjustments they will have to take by moving to the United States.  Emigrants aged 60 and above are exempted from attending the seminar but are still required to register with the CFO.

Once all the departure requirements are completed, Christine’s father will be ready to depart the Philippines and reunite with his family in the United States.