IR5 Visa – US Visa for Parents

Many U.S. citizens want to bring their parents to the United States from a foreign country where they once lived. This can be done by obtaining a U.S. visa for the parents.

What is the IR5 visa?

The IR5 visa is a U.S. visa for parents of U.S. citizens who are over the age of 21. This visa allows them to live and work in the U.S. and be connected to their children as a family in one country.The IR5 visa allows parents to legally work in the U.S. without needing an EAD (Employment Authorization Document).

The advantage of the IR5 visa is that as an immediate relative visa, there are no annual caps or restrictions. This means that an applicant who meets the requirements and whose application is approved can obtain a visa without waiting for the priority date to be updated.

Is the IR-5 right for me?

If you are a U.S. citizen and have a parent who is not a U.S. citizen, you may consider bringing that parent to live with you in the United States. There are many reasons for this, such as a desire to be closer to family, to receive better medical care, or to raise your standard of living.

The IR5 parental visa allows U.S. citizens to bring their foreign-born parents to the United States as permanent residents. However, this visa must be applied for abroad and is issued by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country where the parent resides. You must also be at least 21 years old to sponsor your parent for an IR-5 visa.

This guide explains the steps, special requirements, and frequently asked questions about applying for an IR-5 visa.

  • Eligibility for an IR-5 visa
  • Establish parent-child relationship (Form I-130).
  • Apply for a green card (Form I-485 or DS-260).
  • Have a green card interview and wait for approval
  • Special Requirements
  • Frequently Asked Questions

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IR-5 Visa Eligibility

Eligibility to apply for an IR-5 visa is determined by the following factors.

  • The sponsor, a U.S. citizen, must be at least 21 years of age.
  • The sponsor must have the financial means to support the parent until the parent begins work.
  • The sponsor must live in the U.S. and have a U.S. address.
  • The sponsor must include a copy of the birth certificate to prove the sponsor’s relationship to the parent.

Establishing the parent-child relationship

For all IR (“Immediate Relative”) visa categories, there is no annual cap and there is no need to wait until a green card is issued.

The first step in obtaining permanent residence in the U.S. is for the sponsor to file a Form I-130 (formally known as a “Petition for an Alien Relative”) to establish the parent-child relationship.

This process is slightly different depending on where the parent lives. If the parent is applying from outside the U.S., the application goes through the consular process and is processed by the local embassy or consulate. If they are applying from within the U.S., the application goes through what is called a “change of status” process.

Establishing the parent’s eligibility for a green card

The U.S. government uses two different procedures to determine a parent’s eligibility to apply for a green card, depending on where the parent currently resides.

If the parent is applying from outside the U.S.

If the parent is applying from outside the U.S. After the sponsoring child files Form I-130, it is processed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). If the petition is approved, the parent must complete Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Application) and provide proof of parentage.

Once the Form DS-260 is submitted, it is sent with the supporting documentation to the National Visa Center (NVC), which processes and reviews visa applications. The NVC may request additional proof from the parents.

After the NVC processes the application, the application is sent to the embassy or consulate of the country where the parent resides.

If the parent is applying from the United States.

To apply for a change of status, the parent seeking a green card must be in the U.S. with a valid visa or visa waiver program.

After the sponsoring child files Form I-130 and USCIS approves the petition, the parent files Form I-485 (formally called an “Application for Adjustment of Status”).

Upon receipt of the I-485, USCIS sends the parent a date, time, and location where the fingerprints and eyes can be scanned (called a biometric appointment).

Attending the green card interview and awaiting approval

If you are applying for consular processing, you must have an interview at a U.S. consulate or embassy. If you are applying for a change of status, you must also attend an interview.

You must come to an interview in the city or country where your parents live, and you must bring the following with you:

  • A letter of appointment from USCIS.
  • An unused passport valid for six months from the date of intended entry into the U.S. if applying through consular processing.
  • Two identical color photographs.
  • English translations of documents that require translation.
  • Supporting Documents – If applying through consular processing, originals or certified copies of all civil documents uploaded by the parents to the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC).

The parents are then asked questions about their relationship with their sponsored child to ensure that the visa application is genuine. If the interview is successful, the visa is issued and the parent can immigrate to the United States.

Once the parent has entered the U.S., USCIS will mail the green card to the parent’s U.S. address.

Special Requirements

The IR5 visa has different evidence requirements depending on the birth status of the parents and the sponsor, i.e., whether the parents were married (“in wedlock”) or not married (“out of wedlock”).

If the mother is applying from outside the U.S., the sponsor must submit the following

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate with the child’s name and the mother’s name.
  • If the child was not born in the U.S., a copy of the child’s naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

If the father is applying from outside the U.S., the godchild must submit the following.

  • A copy of his birth certificate that includes his name and the names of his parents.
  • A copy of the child’s naturalization certificate or U.S. passport if the child was not born in the United States.
  • A copy of the parents’ civil marriage certificate.

If the father resides outside the U.S. and the sponsored child was born out of wedlock and was not born to the father before age 18.

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate showing the child’s name and the father’s name.
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate or U.S. passport if you were not born in the United States.
  • Evidence of emotional or financial ties between the godchild and the father before the godchild was married or before the godchild turned 21 (whichever comes first).

If the child was not born in the United States, a copy of the child’s naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

  • Proof that the sponsored child was legitimated before his or her 18th birthday by the marriage of his or her biological parents, the laws of the state or country of his or her birth, or the laws of the state or country of his or her father’s birth.
  • When a sponsored child files a petition to bring a stepparent into the United States, he or she must submit the following
  • A copy of the birth certificate showing the name of the birth parent.

If you were not born in the U.S., you must provide a copy of your naturalization certificate or U.S. passport.

  • A copy of the civil marriage certificate of the birth parent and the stepparent showing that they were married before the godchild’s 18th birthday.
  • A copy of the divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment decree showing that the previous marriage of the godchild’s biological or stepparent was legally terminated.

If the godchild is requesting to bring the adoptive parents into the United States, the following must be submitted

  • A copy of the child’s birth certificate.
  • A copy of the child’s naturalization certificate or U.S. passport if the child was not born in the United States.
  • A copy of the adoption certificate showing that the adoption took place before the godchild’s 16th birthday.
  • A statement indicating when and where the godchild lived with the parents.

What are the fees for the IR5 visa?

There are various fees that the petitioner and applicant must pay for the processing of the IR5 visa application. The main categories of fees that must be paid are.

  • Form I-130 Filing Fee.
  • Form DS-260 Filing Fee.
  • Fees for medical examinations and immunizations.
  • Fees for obtaining and translating all supporting documents.
  • USCIS Immigration Fees. This must be paid after you receive your visa and before you travel to the United States. USCIS will not issue your green card without this fee.

How long does it take for an IR5 visa to be processed?

It can take anywhere from six months to a year for an applicant or parent to receive an IR5 visa. How long it takes to obtain an IR5 visa depends on how long it takes to process the I-130 form and other documents.

Can I receive medical care in the U.S. on an IR5 visa?

Yes, IR5 visa holders are eligible to receive medical care in the US. However, the cost of medical care in the United States is among the highest in the world.

Treatment for a broken leg or arm can cost up to $2,500, and an average stay in a U.S. hospital costs over $10,000. You need to choose the right health insurance plan for you and cover your needs in an overall affordable way.

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