What are restrictions on immigrating parents to the US for long term care?

1 answer | Last updated: Dec 06, 2016
Nan hayes asked...

My parents are in another country. I expect that eventually they will need some sort of care, What are the visa restrictions on bringing them to the US for care? Are there care facilities that focus on people from specific countries/ethnicities?

Expert Answers

Nan Hayes is founder of MoveSeniors.com, the national resource network of Certified Relocation and Transition Specialists for seniors, and President of RightSized Living, a senior home transition service in Illinois.

There are many great care systems throughout the world, but it is very understandable that your parents may wish to live near you in their later years. The process to file and process a Petition for Alien Relative can be rather lengthy and sometimes frustrating. I advise you to consult an immigration attorney, preferably one who specializes in family immigration law. You will need to provide proof of things such as relationship, your residency, legal status and ability to provide financial support.

Your question about care facilities that focus on particular ethnicities is also a complex ones. There is a great deal of diversity in senior housing. In the U.S. we have facilities that support culturally specific populations and those who share religious practices. We have gay and lesbian focused communities and communities that cater to the deaf, or to veterans, to alumni of specific university, and even golf enthusiasts. Los Angeles has facilities just for retired actors. Yet all of these communities are required to adhere to the Fair Housing Act, so while they may support a particular group or lifestyle, they cannot exclude any other type of individual on the basis they don’t “fit in."

Most of these communities are naturally occurring. The best way to locate a place where your parent may be comfortable would be to inquire through your local senior center. In neighborhoods that are home to a large number of people from a particular country or ethnicity, these centers may be best able to direct you to culturally specific programs and resources.