The IR-5 visa, also known as the Parent Green Card, allows parents of adult US citizens to move to the States and live permanently. It’s a relatively popular and important visa because it helps families to stay together. Additionally, unlike some other Green Card visas, there isn’t a long waiting list to get an IR-5 visa once the application is approved. If you are a US citizen planning to bring your parents over, you’ll find this guide helpful. Read on as we explain how to process the IR-5 visa in simple steps.
Step-by-Step Application for the IR-5 Visa
The IR-5 visa application is a straightforward process. Below are the steps involved.
- File the Initial Petition: First, the US citizen completes Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives) on behalf of the parents. This form is basically the US government asking to recognize the parents as potential permanent residents.
- Wait for Feedback: After submitting the form, the USCIS needs to review it with the Department of Homeland Security before approval. Note that the IR5 visa processing time in 2023 can take six months to a year. So, applicants are advised to regularly check the IR-5 visa bulletin 2023 to get updates.
- Complete Visa Application and Pay Fees: Once the petition is approved, parents will need to fill out the online visa application form, Form DS-260. They also have to pay application fees before the USCIS starts processing.
- Medical Examination: Next, the parents will attend a medical exam to ensure they meet the basic health requirements. This exam has to be done by a doctor approved by the US embassy.
- Attend Visa Interview: After the medical exam, the parents may need to attend an interview at the US embassy in their home country. At the interview, they’ll primarily answer questions about themselves and their relationship with the US citizen.
- Get the Visa: If everything checks out and the visa is approved, the US embassy will issue a visa stamp on the parent’s passport. With this visa, they can travel to the US and subsequently receive their Green Card.
Documentation Needed for IR-5 Visa
During the petition and, subsequently, for the visa application stage, the process requires submitting several documents. For the US citizen, the required documents include:
- Proof of US Citizenship: This can be a copy of a US passport, birth certificate, naturalization certificate, or certificate of citizenship.
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: Completed and signed.
- Evidence of Relationship: This could be the birth certificate of the US citizen showing the names of the parents or other legal documents establishing the parent-child relationship.
Meanwhile, parents applying for the green card will submit the following:
- Passport: Theur passport must remains valid for at least six months beyond the intended entry date into the United States.
- Photographs: Two passport-style color photographs meeting the US visa photo requirements.
- Form DS-260 Confirmation Page: The confirmation sheet after completing the DS-260 form online.
- Civil Documents: This may include marriage certificates, divorce or death certificates of previous spouses, military records, and court and prison records, if applicable.
- Police Certificate: A certificate from the police authorities from all countries where your parents have lived for at least 6 months since they were 16. This is to confirm they have no criminal record.
- Medical Examination: A sealed envelope containing the medical examination results from an embassy-approved physician.
- Proof of Funds: Documents proving the US citizen can support their parents financially. It may include tax returns, employment letters, pay stubs, or Form I-864, Affidavit of Support.
Each document typically needs to be in English or accompanied by a certified English translation. Also, the embassy may request additional documents beyond the ones listed above.
IR5 Visa Associated Fees
When applying for the IR-5 visa, several fees are necessary at different stages. These include:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee: The US citizen will pay $535 when submitting Form I-130. This fee covers the cost of the USCIS processing the petition.
- Form DS-260 Processing Fee: Once the initial petition is approved, parents must complete the online visa application, Form DS-260, and pay a fee of $325.
- Translation Fees: If supporting documents are not in English, applicants may need to pay for professional translation services. The cost will vary.
- Medical Examination and Vaccination Fees: During the medical exam and possibly vaccinations before their visa interview, parents will typically pay charges. The costs can vary based on location and specific health requirements.
- USCIS Immigrant Fee: After approval and before parents travel to the US, they’ll pay the USCIS Immigrant fee to validate their IR5 visa status. The fee is primarily for their Green Card.
Generally, the IR5 visa cost could exceed $1,000, considering all payments. Note that the fees you pay are non-refundable.
Benefits of IR-5 Visa
The IR-5 Parent Green Card offers many advantages for families seeking to reunite in the United States. Here are the key benefits that come with having the green card:
- Permanent Residency: The IR-5 visa grants parents of US citizens the privilege of becoming lawful permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States. This means your parents can live indefinitely in the US.
- Freedom to Work: With the IR-5 visa, parents are not restricted in employment opportunities. They have the legal right to work in any capacity.
- Access to Health Care: As permanent residents, parents can access various healthcare services and benefits. This is particularly beneficial for older people who may require more medical attention.
- Path to Citizenship: After holding LPR status for five years, parents become eligible to apply for US citizenship, provided they meet all the other requirements for naturalization. This opens the door to complete rights, including the right to vote.
Importance of Legal Assistance
For the IR-5 visa application, legal assistance is incredibly beneficial. US immigration laws are generally complex, and small errors in application can cause delays or even denials. Immigration lawyers can help provide clarity and guidance, ensuring all forms are completed and submitted with the right documentation.
You can count on lawyers at Immigration Advice Service (IAS), as they stay up to date with all IR5 visa latest news 2023. They offer expert advice and can help manage your application from start to finish.