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Unfortunately, in most cases it isn’t.

Most nonimmigrant visas (student, visitor, employment etc. temporary visas) allow for “derivatives” – spouses and children under the age of 21. But, they don’t allow for parents of the nonimmigrant to enter as derivatives.

It may be possible in some cases to obtain longer-term visas for parents as principal applicants (based upon their own intentions/qualifications), – for instance, retired parents who have ample funds and a life-long love of learning have obtained F-1 student visas to come and study here.

However, in most cases parents are relegated to occasional visits on B-1/B-2 Visitor visas or under the Visa Waiver/ESTA program.

Even if an individual obtains permanent residence (a “green card”) in the US, there’s no way for a green card holder to petition for a green card for a parent.


The only people who can petition to bring their parents to the US full-time, as permanent residents, are US citizen children over the age of 21.  Individuals in this situation can sponsor parents for US permanent residence (green cards).

However, often the issue here isn’t so much day-to-day financial support but arrangements for insurance and long-term medical care; most new permanent residents won’t immediately be eligible for government programs providing health care for elderly parents. Guidelines for meeting the support obligation were updated in late January of 2018, however, to allow consular officers to consider other factors beyond the I-864 Affidavit of Support. It may now prove more difficult in the future to petition for parents to enter the US without additional evidence of support beyond what the Affidavit of Support typically requires.