Sun | Nov 19, 2017

How can Mom get her green card?

Published:Tuesday | August 26, 2014 | 12:00 AM
Dahlia Walker-Huntington, United States

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

My mother arrived in the United States (US) about 20 years ago on a visa, and has been living in the country undocumented since. I recently got a green card and would like to know how I can help her to obtain one as well. Thanks in advance.

- RM

Dear RM,

A green card holder cannot file for residency for their parent. Only a US citizen can petition for their parent for US residency. A green-card holder can file a petition for their unmarried children and their spouse.

Since your mother entered the US on her own visa, she is eligible to adjust her status if an immediate relative files a petition for residency on her behalf, i.e., she would be able to remain in the States and have an interview for residency and, if approved, receive a green card. An immediate relative of an American citizen is a spouse, a child under 21 years of age and a parent of an over 21-year-old American citizen.

Your mother will fall into the last category when you become a US citizen.

If your mother were to leave the US now, she would face a mandatory 10-year bar from returning to the US. Please ensure that when you become a US citizen that she files to adjust her status. Do not file her documents to pick up her green card in Jamaica.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and personal injury law in Florida. She is a mediator, arbitrator and special magistrate in Broward County, Florida; and an adjunct professor at Miami Dade College's School of Justice. info@walkerhuntington.com


 

A green card holder cannot file for residency for their parent. Only a US citizen can petition for their parent for US residency.