Should I File for My Parents?
One benefit of US Citizenship is the ability to file for your parents to obtain a green card. Many citizens desire to share their American dream and be permanently reunited with their parents. While this is a very common and worthwhile goal, here are a few things to consider before you file for your parents.
· Age and Health – If your parents are elderly or are not in great health you should carefully determine whether they are able to endure the journey and process of obtaining a green card. Before you begin the application process you should find out whether your parents want to start a new life in the US or they would prefer to remain in their home country during their senior years.
· Lifestyle Preferences – In addition to their age and health, you should also consider your parent’s quality of life and lifestyle desires. The excitement and wonder of America will wear off after a few months as they realize the many adjustments to their lifestyle. For example, in their home country, they might have been very independent and able to move about freely. However, upon their arrival, they realize that they are dependent on others to get around or may even be intimidated to venture out into public places. Often times they find themselves homebound and miserable.
· Permanent Residency Requirements – Another important factor often overlooked is the residency requirements to maintain your green card. Frequent travel or long trips outside of the US may lead to the abandonment of permanent residency status. You and your parents should consider if they want to establish permanent residency in the US or would prefer the freedom and flexibility to visit the US temporarily, without worrying about maintaining residency requirements or travel restrictions. I have seen many families go through the process of obtaining permanent residency only to voluntarily give up or involuntarily lose their status.
I hope this post provides a starting point for you and your parents before you begin to invest time and money in the filing process. Please contact us if you would like to schedule a consultation to discuss your specific circumstances.