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I wanted to see if anyone has gone through the process of relocating one's parent(s) to the USA.

I'm trying to understand exactly what's involved as my family is looking at the possibility of having my mother relocate to the USA in the future. I have dual citizenship. My mother is an Italian citizen.

Any help is much appreciated. Thank you very much!

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Hi Massimo,
as US Citizen you can sponsor your mother for the green card, but then the tricky part may be for her the access to healthcare benefits in her elder age: if i'm not wrong in order to be entitled to medicare and social security a permanent resident of the united states must have at least 10 years of working history here. I would double check this with an immigration lawyer, sorry i cannot be more precise but i want to give you a heads up about this potential issue.


Thank you. I'll look into the Green Card sponsorship.

My initial research shows individual healthcare plans (Kaiser) available for between $300 and $600/month for a person of my mother's age (65). However, this does not take into account pre-existing conditions (although in this particular case the applicant is quite healthy). I'll post back here when I have more information.

I wonder if they are discussing anything with regard to this scenario in the current healthcare reform bill. It must be a rather frequent scenario.
...without getting into political discussions keep in mind that "having given birth" it's -quite laughably- considered by some (?) carriers a pre-existing condition, which I'm pretty sure neither you nor your mother could possibly deny...

Just kidding, but a private medical examination and a review of the medical history may be advisable before meeting with any insurance nurse or provider.
Massimo: Once you get the health insurance angle sorted out [or concurrently with the immigration process], you should know that a 'green card' process may take up to a year complete. It is initiated by you filing an I-130 relative visa petition with the regional office of CIS Citizenshp & Immigration Services. CIS hands off to the National Visa Center, which ultimately schedules an Immigrant Visa interview in Italy. Not much can be done to expedite this process, but you can always pull the plug at any time. So if there is time pressure, you should file sooner rather than later. Warm regards, Jim Mayock
Hi Jim,

thank you very much for the additional information on this. You're right, it makes sense to get started immediately, regardless of the health insurance matter.


here is a link to information about the Medicare eligibility rules
They also refer to a dedicated Social Security Administration number for your Medicare enrollment and eligibility for recent immigrants: 1-800-772-1213

Hi Massimo,

As far as I know, by being a US citizen you can sponsor your mother for Naturalization. It should be a pretty straightforward and relatively fast process. I would check with directly with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the stepos involved.

Oops sorry.
I just noticed the several detailed replies... anyway, good luck!
I have been working on this for 2 years, spoke to the assistant to the senator Barbara Lee who absolutely got me only one answer after many calls of her assistant to some office in DC: new citizens who have worked OUT of THE USA are treated as if they never worked at all, which means, paying the full Medicare premium $ 461 + 96 ( part a and b).
I dont ask for any freebies- but WHY cant they figure out a way to have the 2 sanitary systems communicate and get contributions information over to the other, so people don't have to repay over something they have paid into in another country?
I have a problem with repaying it all
1 ) because part a and b still dont include supplementary coverages which totalize to a bout $ 800/person /month.
2) because it is a lot of money for retired people for just being covered
3) unfair because they are treated like they never worked at all while the system could just get the fica -medicare-like funds for their native country instead of treating them like a lazy citizen who never worked.

I have a doctor friend in La who is seeing more and more parents of people like us who get petitioned in the States and he sincerely notes these parents become new Citizens and it is not their fault that when they become naturalized, the chronoly for Medicare isnt there when they have indeed paid and worked all their life elsewhere....
He also added to our defense that new Americans like us come on special visas and conditions because we always cover special positions and we are therefore no slackers that end up on Medicaid taking hand me downs .
Medicaid is the freebie coverage which people get for income less than $17.000 a year which, let me tell you, an italian retirement can easily qualify with that...but working during the day in a Social Service setting, I can tell you guys that Medicaid is as frustrating as the worst burocratic nightmare............and I wish for all but that for some Italian parents who come here to be with their kids struggling already as it is for the language and the adjustments.
Yes since my day job is in Public Health, I had an easier way into information but the complications/ingnorance/novelty on the topic are big enough as barriers. The burocracy is the worst!!!
It is after seeing those burocratic nightmares that I had to start working somewherelse besides Public Health....somewhere fun like a Travel company.... Well I am kind of kidding but I am mostly serious.

So jokes apart,who can we involve? Medicare is useless...........already called them as well.....they have a very narrow-minded visual and even pretended not to understand other countries have health insurance correspondence between each other and here we just need to figure out where is the legal loophole to configure this correspondence between "Italian contributi" and the Medicare FICA contribution system for new green card holders , new citizens or parents that come here 6 months on a extended visa stay.

I say we need to make a group and write to Sen. Feinstein/ other people in power who hopefully will be more efficient than the one I consulted and can help us sort this out in a smarter way.....

Thanks all- let s get active. We are all busy and I can attest to it, I am working 2 jobs and taking continuing ed. classes online but I will gladly pitch in with you guys to make phone calls and write letters together with a group of interested people.
I do believe the " unione fa la forza " and as usual in the USA, we need to make whoever is in charge of this understand that it is not only something we as new Americans need, but also a civil and fiscal advantage to have this increasing constituency of new citizens, visitors and older parents of highly respected new citizens obtain health coverage. Why? because besides the ethics of it all, being fair to all , individuals 65 and older accumulating conditions and aggravated health problems end up costing the global system more.
So since it is our parents that are an increasing migrating visiting population at a risky age and because we are in a recessing economy, these are points I think we need to focus on highlighting when we wish to get our point across.

Please share any thoughts suggestions etc etc
Hi All

regarding covering the visiting parents, I have done some more research and this site is the only one that gave me some degree of hope. I have not tried their coverage but the initial impression is good from reading what they do and the options of coverage available for Non-US citizens and also for US citizens that do not have coverage.
The prices are somewhat exorbitant however I am beginning to be a little hopeless since after looking into Kaiser, Anthem, Blue Cross etc, I have learned that individuals older than 64 ( or 65) years old cannot easily be covered by most plans and many of them really put the age limit at 64-65.
The below site did not seem to limit so much , then again the prices seem to offer caviar with your health insurance plan. But this is better than what I have been able to find up until now.
The site is
I am not sure where they are located, but I do see a toll free number which I called to speak to a live person.

More as I learn about them




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