What is an IR-5 visa?
The IR-5 visa is a type of immigrant visa available to foreign nationals who are the parents of U.S. citizens and are seeking to immigrate to the United States. The IR-5 visa falls under the immediate relative category of family-sponsored immigration. It is designed to allow parents of U.S. citizens to reunite with their adult children who are already U.S. citizens and live in the United States.
Key points to understand about the IR-5 visa include:
- Immediate Relative Category: The IR-5 visa is part of the immediate relative category, which means there is no numerical limit on the number of visas issued each year. This allows eligible parents of U.S. citizens to obtain their immigrant visas relatively quickly once their petitions are approved.
- Eligibility: To be eligible for the IR-5 visa, the following criteria generally apply:
- The petitioner (U.S. citizen child) must be at least 21 years old.
- The petitioner must be able to demonstrate the parent-child relationship and provide evidence of U.S. citizenship.
- The U.S. citizen child files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their parent.
- Once the I-130 petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the parent can begin the visa application process.
- Visa Application:
- If the parent is outside the U.S., they will typically apply for the IR-5 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
- If the parent is in the U.S., they might be eligible to adjust their status to permanent resident (green card holder) without having to leave the U.S.
- Green Card Status: Once the parent enters the U.S. on an IR-5 visa or adjusts their status, they will become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). This allows them to live and work in the U.S. permanently.
- IR-5 vs. Other Family-Based Categories: The IR-5 visa is specifically for parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 years or older. There are other family-sponsored visa categories for other family relationships, such as the F-1, F-2A, F-2B, F-3, and F-4 categories for spouses, unmarried children, married children, and siblings of U.S. citizens.
It’s important to note that immigration laws and policies can change, so it’s recommended to refer to the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or consult with an experienced immigration attorney for the most up-to-date and accurate information about the IR-5 visa application process and eligibility criteria.
How to apply for an IR-5 visa?
Applying for an IR-5 visa involves a multi-step process that includes petition filing by the U.S. citizen child, visa application by the parent, and obtaining the immigrant visa. Here’s a general overview of the steps to apply for an IR-5 visa:
- S. Citizen Child Files Form I-130:
- The U.S. citizen child (petitioner) files Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their parent with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- The petitioner must provide evidence of their U.S. citizenship, the parent-child relationship, and other required documentation.
- USCIS Processes Form I-130:
- USCIS reviews the I-130 petition and supporting documents to determine the authenticity of the parent-child relationship and the eligibility of the petitioner.
- Approval of Form I-130:
- If USCIS approves the I-130 petition, the petitioner and parent will receive a notice of approval.
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
- Once the I-130 is approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
- The NVC will provide instructions for required fees, document submission, and information about the visa application process.
- Pay Fees and Submit Required Documents:
- The petitioner (U.S. citizen child) will need to pay the required visa fees, and the parent will need to submit certain required documents to the NVC. These documents typically include biographical information, civil documents, and financial support information (Form I-864).
- Visa Application:
- If the parent is outside the U.S., they will be instructed to apply for the IR-5 visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. They will need to complete the online visa application (Form DS-260) and attend a visa interview.
- If the parent is in the U.S., they might be eligible to adjust their status to permanent resident (green card holder) through the Form I-485 process without having to leave the U.S.
- Medical Examination:
- If applying for an immigrant visa abroad, the parent will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
- Visa Interview:
- The parent will attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. During the interview, they will need to provide relevant documents and answer questions about their background and relationship with the petitioner.
- Visa Issuance:
- If the visa application is approved, the parent will receive the IR-5 immigrant visa in their passport.
- Entry into the U.S. and Green Card Processing:
- Once the parent enters the U.S. on the IR-5 visa, they become a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). The actual green card is typically mailed to them after their arrival.
It’s important to note that the IR-5 visa application process can vary based on individual circumstances, changes in immigration policies, and specific requirements of the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview is conducted. For the most accurate and up-to-date information, it’s recommended to consult the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney.
IR-5 visa cost
The cost associated with obtaining an IR-5 visa can include various fees for petition filing, visa application, medical examination, and other related services. It’s important to note that fees can change over time, so it’s recommended to check the official U.S. government sources or consult with an experienced immigration attorney for the most up-to-date fee information.
Here are some of the key fees that may be associated with the IR-5 visa application process:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee:
- The fee for filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the parent (IR-5 visa applicant).
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Fees:
- The NVC processing fee for visa applicants. This fee covers document processing and various services related to the visa application.
- Visa Application Fee:
- The visa application fee that is paid directly to the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will be conducted.
- Medical Examination Fees:
- The cost of the required medical examination, conducted by an approved panel physician, to ensure the visa applicant’s health and eligibility.
- Police Clearance Certificates:
- The fees associated with obtaining police clearance certificates from the applicant’s home country or countries of residence.
- Translation and Document Certification Costs:
- If any documents need to be translated into English or certified, there may be associated costs.
- Other Costs:
- Miscellaneous costs may include passport fees, travel expenses to the U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa interview, and costs associated with preparing and submitting required documentation.
It’s important to review the fee instructions provided by the U.S. government agency handling your specific application, as well as the guidance on the official U.S. Department of State website. Additionally, consider seeking assistance from a reputable immigration attorney to ensure that you have accurate and current fee information and to guide you through the application process.
IR-5 visa checklist of required documents
The required documents for an IR-5 visa application can vary based on your individual circumstances and the specific requirements of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply. However, here’s a general checklist of documents that you might need to prepare for the IR-5 visa application process. Keep in mind that this list is not exhaustive, and you should consult the official U.S. government sources or an immigration attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information.
IR-5 Visa Document Checklist:
- Form I-130 Approval Notice:
- Copy of the Form I-130 approval notice that was received when the U.S. citizen child’s petition was approved by USCIS.
- Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application:
- Completed Form DS-260, which is the online immigrant visa application form.
- Passport Photos:
- Passport-sized photos that meet the U.S. visa photo requirements.
- Valid Passport:
- Valid passport for the parent who is applying for the IR-5 visa.
- Birth Certificate:
- Original or certified copy of the parent’s birth certificate, along with an English translation if the document is not in English.
- Marriage Certificate (If Applicable):
- If the parent has been married previously, provide marriage certificates and divorce decrees to establish marital history.
- Police Clearance Certificates:
- Police clearance certificates from all countries where the parent has lived for a certain period, demonstrating good moral character.
- Medical Examination Results:
- The results of the medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864):
- The U.S. citizen child may need to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to demonstrate financial support for the parent.
- Proof of Relationship:
- Evidence demonstrating the parent-child relationship, such as birth certificates, baptismal certificates, or other relevant documents.
- Proof of U.S. Citizenship of the Petitioner:
- Copy of the U.S. citizen child’s U.S. passport, Certificate of Naturalization, or other proof of U.S. citizenship.
- Visa Application Fee Payment Confirmation:
- Confirmation of payment for the visa application fee.
- Other Supporting Documents:
- Any other documents that are specific to your individual case, such as divorce decrees, evidence of financial support, or other relevant evidence.
Remember that each U.S. embassy or consulate may have its own specific requirements and procedures for document submission. It’s recommended to review the instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply, as well as consulting the official U.S. Department of State website or an experienced immigration attorney for accurate and up-to-date information about the IR-5 visa application process.