How To Petition For Your Parent Via Consular Processing

By Bruna Squires

If you are a US Citizen, by birth or naturalization, 21 years or older, you can petition for your parent to live in the United States and become a lawful permanent resident (LPR or Green Card holder). The process is rather simple, but it requires several steps.

The first step is for the US citizen petitioner to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the USCIS in the United States for the foreign national beneficiary abroad, the parent(s). This stage is where you will establish proof of the relationship; in this case that the petitioner is in fact child of the parent(s). It is also crucial to note that it is necessary to establish continuing relationship between the parent(s) and child, because the purpose of family-based petitions is to reunite the family.

The following are documents necessary to establish parent-child relationship:

US Citizen Petitioner will need:

  • Proof of citizenship (birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate)
  • Birth Certificate
  • Photos passport-style
  • Translation is necessary for any documents not in English

Foreign National Beneficiary Parent will need:

  • Passport
  • Marriage or Divorce Certificate (death certificate, if applicable)
  • Photos passport-style
  • Translation is necessary for any documents not in English

Due to backlogs, it may take 30 to 29 months for USCIS to approve an I-130. Time will also vary if USCIS issues an RFE (request for evidence) requesting for additional information.

Once the USCIS approves the I-130 petition, they will transfer the case to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC is a center part of the US Department of State that gathers and pre-screens all the documentation necessary for the Consulate interview. The NVC creates a case number and sends out a notice with instructions for the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).

The CEAC is an online center where the beneficiary will be able to fill out the DS-260, which is the immigrant visa electronic application, pay fees, submit documents, and check case status. Additional documents necessary are police certificate, Form I-864 Affidavit of Support, and financial documentation. After all the fees are paid, it is important to print out the confirmation page to bring to the Consulate Interview.

Once the NVC schedules a Consulate interview, the third step will be to schedule the Medical Exam by an authorized physician in the country where the interview will be conducted. When the medical examination is performed, the physician will give the beneficiary the results in a sealed envelope to bring to the Consulate interview. The sealed envelope cannot be open.

At the Consulate interview, the parent beneficiary will bring the following documents:

  • The appointment letter sent by the NVC
  • Passport
  • Passport style-photos
  • DS-260 confirmation page
  • Supporting documents

If the case is approved at the Consulate interview, the beneficiary parent will receive an immigrant visa on their passport to travel to the United States. Please note that this scenario is a simple overview of a parent petition by US citizen via Consulate. If you have any questions about Family-Based Petitions, please do not hesitate to contact me at

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