residence for athlete parents

Sponsoring Permanent Residence for Athlete's Parents: A Step-By-Step Guide

In today’s blog post, we will guide you through the best practices of sponsoring permanent residence for the parents of athletes who are already under permanent residence status in the United States. This scenario often occurs when the parents have arrived from another country and do not possess any current visa status. Utilizing the I-131 family-based process, along with considering waiver processes to mitigate unlawful presence, can be a viable path forward. Let’s delve deep into this process, detailing the required forms, timelines, and other essential information.

To sponsor permanent residence for the parents of an athlete under the stated circumstances, a comprehensive, step-by-step guide should be followed:

  1. Legal Consultation: Consult with an immigration lawyer to understand the best strategies to employ for your case. Considering the complexity, legal guidance from firms like Immigration Law of LA or Gallardo Law Firm would be beneficial.
  2. I-130 Petition: Initiate the process by filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This step establishes the qualifying relationship between the athlete and the parents.
  3. Addressing Unlawful Presence: Before filing the I-485 application, consider applying for a provisional unlawful presence waiver using Form I-601A to mitigate the unlawful stay’s consequences.
  4. Filing the I-485: The next step is to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status.
  5. Application for Travel Document (I-131): Concurrently with the I-485, submit Form I-131, Application for Travel Document. This allows the parents to travel outside of the U.S. while their I-485 is pending.
  6. Application for Employment Authorization (I-765): Simultaneously with the I-485, file Form I-765, Application for Employment Authorization, to permit the parents to work legally in the U.S. while their case is pending.
  7. Biometrics and Interviews: The parents will need to attend a biometrics appointment, followed by an interview at a USCIS office.
  8. Final Decision: After the interview, wait for the USCIS to make a decision regarding the permanent residence status.


  • I-130: 6-12 months (varies based on the case load)
  • I-485: 8-14 months
  • I-131 and I-765: 4-6 months

Filing Fees

  • I-130: $535
  • I-485: $1,225
  • I-131: No separate fee when filed with I-485
  • I-765: No separate fee when filed with I-485


  1. Can the parents work in the U.S. while their I-485 is pending? Yes, upon receiving the Employment Authorization Document (EAD) through the successful filing of Form I-765.
  2. Can the parents travel outside the U.S. while their case is pending? Yes, but only with an approved I-131, which grants a travel document known as Advance Parole.
  3. What happens if the waiver application is denied? If the I-601A waiver is denied, consult with an attorney for the best next steps, which may include filing a new waiver application or considering other forms of relief.
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