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How can I bring my stepparent to the U.S.?

On Behalf of | Feb 23, 2022 | Family petitions and fiancé visas

Some immigrants want to bring their parents to the United States to live. Your family situation may be different. Perhaps you have a stepfather or stepmother in addition to your biological parents. Fortunately, U.S. immigration law allows immigrants to petition for stepparents to gain permanent U.S. residency.

The U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website explains what you must do to petition for your stepparent to become a permanent legal resident of the United States. A first step is to file a Form 1-130, a petition for an alien relative. To support your Form 1-130, you must also supply a number of documents.

Your birth certificate

You will need to prove your relationship to your biological parents. To do so, you should produce a copy of your birth certificate. This document lists your birth parents, so it should have the name of your biological parent who married your stepparent.

A marriage certificate for your stepparent

The U.S. government will want to know that your stepparent married one of your biological parents. The marriage must have taken place before you turned 18 years old. You may supply proof by presenting a copy of the marriage certificate of your stepparent to your birth parent.

Documents proving marriage dissolution

You must also show that your biological parents had ended their marriage before your stepparent married your biological parent. If your biological parents have not legally ended their union, the current marriage between your stepparent and biological parent might not be valid. A copy of a divorce decree or annulment should help prove that your stepparent could legally marry your biological parent.

The marriage of your birth parents may have ended because one of your birth parents has died. If so, the U.S. government will require you to supply a death certificate for your deceased parent. Start gathering documents as early as you can so you can process your petition as efficiently as possible.