Legal Question in Immigration Law in California

Can I petition my parents in the US if Im just a green card holder? I have my green card for 5 years now.

Asked on 8/10/09, 11:30 pm

4 Answers from Attorneys

Luba Smal Smal Immigration Law Office

No, only a US citizen can petition their parents.

If and when you become a US citizen by naturalization, then you will be able to petition for your parents.

If you require legal assistance, you are welcome to email me at Attorney [@]


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Answered on 8/10/09, 11:39 pm
Alice Yardum-Hunter Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, a Law Corp.

Not as a permanent resident you can't, but as you qualify for citizenship now that you've had a green card for five years, on the day you're sworn in, you could petition as early as that date. I would be happy to help you out if you contact me offline.

Check me out at, phone at 818 609 1953 or email me at [email protected] Until then, please don't rely on this as legal advice.

Alice M. Yardum-Hunter, Attorney at Law, Certified Specialist, Immigration & Nationality Law, State Bar of CA, Bd. of Legal Specialization

A “Super Lawyer” 2004 – 2009, Los Angeles Magazine

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Answered on 8/11/09, 12:27 am

No, only U.S. Citizens may petition for parents. But, since you are here in the U.S. as a greencard holder for the last five years, you may now be eligible to apply for naturalization. Once you obtain citizenship, then you would be able to apply for your parents. I would be happy to assist you in the process. Don't hesitate to call at 415-387-1364 to set up an appointment or email at [email protected]

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Answered on 8/11/09, 1:21 am
Ellaine Loreto Law Offices of Ellaine Loreto


As a legal permanent resident, you cannot petition your parents. However, since you have been a legal permanent resident for at least 5 years, you are eligible to apply for your citizenship. Once you become a citizen, you can petition your parents for their green card.

If you parents entered the U.S. legally and have overstayed, you may be able to petition them without them having to leave the U.S. However, if they entered the country illegally, and are not protected by having a previous petition filed for them before April 30, 2001, then there is a chance they may have to leave and go back to their home country to obtain a visa. Please note that once they leave, they may be barred for 3 or 10 years from re-entering the U.S., depending on how long they have overstayed or been in illegal status.

If they are outside the U.S., and you petition them, the processing time may take anywhere from 1-2 years, depending on the country they are from.

To discuss your options further, please contact me directly at 714 288 0574 or at [email protected] Our office offers a FREE initial consultation and payment plans.

Note: The above response is provided for information purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice, nor to create an attorney-client relationship, which can only be established through payment of consideration.

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Answered on 8/11/09, 3:56 pm

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