Petitioning for your parents to get a green card in the United States can be stressful. Do you meet all the requirements to be a sponsor? Will your parents be able to provide all the necessary supporting evidence? Our team can assist you in understanding what you need to do to successfully apply for and get approved for the IR-5 parent visa.
When you start with My Visa Source’s free online assessment, we can help you navigate your visa application and make your dreams of permanent residence in the US come true. We are committed to helping clients reach their immigration goals. If you would like to apply for the IR-5 parent visa, My Visa Source is happy to assist you.
The IR-5 Parent Visa
The IR-5 visa is for foreign-born parents of US citizens to come to the United States and become permanent residents. With an IR-5 visa, parents can legally work in the US without an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
A benefit of the IR-5 visa is that it does not have an annual cap or limit because it only applies to immediate relatives of US citizens. This means that any applicant who meets all application requirements can be approved without having to wait for their priority dates to become current.
Who is Eligible for the IR-5 Parent Visa?
The IR-5 visa for parents of US citizens may be issued if the following requirements are met:
- The US citizen sponsoring their parent must be at least 21 years old
- The US citizen must have the financial means to support their parent until they start working
- The US citizen must reside in and have a permanent address in the United States
- The relationship between sponsor and parent must be proven with a copy of the sponsor’s birth certificate
How to Apply for the IR-5 Parent Visa
The application process for an IR-5 parent visa can be broken down into two parts:
- The US citizen files a petition for their parents to US Citizenship and Immigration Services.
- Once the petition is approved, the parents must apply to a US embassy or consulate while in their home country.
IR-5 Parent Visa Processing Time
IR-5 visas are typically received in six months to a year. Processing times can vary depending on a range of factors:
- The service center responsible for processing the file
- Visa interview wait times (if applicable)
- Whether the applicant can qualify for an expedited interview appointment
- Whether expedited processing or premium processing is available
- Providing insufficient or incomplete documents can lead to delays in processing time or even denials
Filing a Petition for Your Parent
The US citizen must file form I-130, which is a Petition for Alien Relatives to USCIS. To officially file the petition, you must include any required documents and pay the filing fee. Petitions are typically processed by the Department of Homeland Security in a few months. Once your petition is processed, you will be informed by USCIS if your petition is approved or denied. If denied, you will learn why and then reapply after making the necessary changes. If approved, your petition will move on to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
The NVC will review your petition and send a package with information and application instructions to your parents in a foreign country. The package will include their case number and invoice ID number, both of which are unique to your application. Additionally, the package will contain instructions for medical examinations and vaccines that are required before living in the United States.
Next Steps for Parents
If your foreign-born parent is applying for a green card from within the United States, they must apply for an adjustment of status with Form I-485. The parent must have entered the United States on a valid visa, such as a visitor visa, or through the Visa Waiver Program.
If your parents are applying from outside of the United States, they will need to complete Form DS-290, which is an immigrant visa application. In addition, they must provide evidence of your parent-child relationship. Once this form is sent in and begins processing, your parents may be contacted for additional evidence.
Collect Supporting Documents
Parents will need to provide the following documents with their application:
- A passport that is valid for more than six months after your planned entry to the US
- Signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support from the US petitioner
- Form DS-290 confirmation page
- Proof of medical examination and vaccinations
- Birth certificate proving the parent-child relationship between the US citizen and the applicant
- Two photographs per person as per US visa photograph requirements
- Court and criminal records and/or a police certificate
- Any military records if you served in the military
Attend Your Visa Interview
Once the NVC has received your application and supporting documents, they will schedule an interview for the applicant at the US Embassy to which they are applying. This interview will include questions about the applicant’s background and their reasons for wanting to relocate to the United States. It is important to answer all questions correctly and honestly.
Your US visa application could be denied for several reasons. Some of the most common reasons include:
- Current and/or past immigration status and history in the US or abroad, such as overstaying or unauthorized employment
- Insufficient funds to support your stay
- Incorrect or incomplete petition
- Insufficient supporting evidence
- Conflicts with your travel documents
- Health concerns
- Suspicion of malicious intent
- Problems with a background check
- Criminal history/suspected or known ties to terrorism
- Material misrepresentation
To avoid and overcome any challenges with your IR-5 visa application, contact My Visa Source to learn more about your options and how you can best proceed.