Parents of U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old are deemed “Immediate Relatives.” As such there are no per country limitations on the availability of an immigrant visa. Only U.S. citizens can sponsor their parents; there is no current immigrant sponsorship for Lawful Permanent Residents to petition for their parents. Further, only U.S. citizens who are at least 21 years old may sponsor their parents.
Stepparents: A U.S. citizen may sponsor their natural parents as well as their stepparents. However, an adopted child can only sponsor
Adoption impact: If the U.S. citizen obtained an immigration benefit through their adoptive parents (i.e. received the Green Card), then s/he cannot sponsor their biological parents or family members. However, if the U.S. citizen obtained an immigration benefit through some other basis, (i.e. employment, marriage, asylum, etc.) then s/he may still be able to sponsor their biological parents and siblings. However, to do so, they would have to have the adoption terminated in court and re-establish the parent-child relationship.
Lawful Permanent Resident required to live in the U.S. Sometimes parents who have spent most of their lives in their own country are hesitant to live long term. For the Green Card though, once the parent becomes a Lawful Permanent Resident, then it is expected that they spend most of their time in the U.S. as opposed to being abroad. If they anticipate spending more time outside of the U.S. for any reason then they should file a “Re-Entry” permit before going abroad for absences of more than 1 year.
Adjustment of Status or Consular Processing
If the parent is outside of the U.S. then they may file through consular processing for an immigrant visa. These two options are described further below.