Navigating the IR-5 Visa Journey: A Guide to Bringing Parents to the U.S.What is an IR-5 visa?

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An IR-5 visa is a type of immigrant visa that is issued by the United States for the parents of U.S. citizens who are 21 years of age or older. The “IR” stands for “Immediate Relative,” indicating that it is intended for close family members with a strong familial relationship to U.S. citizens.

To be eligible for an IR-5 visa, the petitioner (the U.S. citizen son or daughter) must be at least 21 years old and must sponsor their parent. The parent, in turn, must meet the criteria for an immediate relative, including being the parent of a U.S. citizen and having a qualifying relationship with the petitioner.

IR-5 visa holders are granted permanent resident status upon entry into the United States. This means that they are authorized to live and work in the U.S. indefinitely. After a certain period of time, they may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet the naturalization requirements.

How to apply for an IR-5 visa?

Applying for an IR-5 visa involves a multi-step process. Here’s a general outline of the steps you would typically need to take:

  • File a Petition (Form I-130):
    • The U.S. citizen son or daughter must file a petition for their parent using Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. This form establishes the qualifying relationship between the U.S. citizen and the foreign national parent. The petitioner must submit supporting documentation and pay the appropriate filing fee.
  • USCIS Processing:
    • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will review the petition. If more information or documentation is needed, they may issue a Request for Evidence (RFE). Once the petition is approved, USCIS will send a notice of approval.
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
    • After USCIS approves the petition, it is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will notify both the petitioner and the beneficiary (parent) and provide instructions for the visa application process.
  • Submit Visa Application (DS-260):
    • The beneficiary must complete the online immigrant visa application, Form DS-260. This form collects biographical information and details about the intended immigration.
  • Pay Fees:
    • Pay the required visa application fees. The fees vary and may include the visa application fee, affidavit of support fee, and other applicable fees.
  • Affidavit of Support:
    • The U.S. citizen petitioner must submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate that they have the financial means to support the immigrant parent.
  • Civil Documents:
    • The beneficiary must gather and submit required civil documents, including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and any other relevant documents.
  • Medical Examination:
    • The beneficiary is typically required to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
  • Visa Interview:
    • The beneficiary will be scheduled for an immigrant visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where they reside. During the interview, the consular officer will determine the eligibility for the visa.
  • Visa Issuance:
    • If approved, the immigrant visa will be issued, and the beneficiary can travel to the United States.
  • Port of Entry and Green Card:
    • Upon arrival in the U.S., the parent will be inspected at a port of entry. After successful inspection, they will be admitted as a U.S. permanent resident and receive their Green Card.

IR-5 visa filing fees

The filing fees for immigration-related forms may change, and it’s essential to check the most recent fee schedule on the official website of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or consult with an immigration attorney for the latest information. Here are some of the fees associated with the IR-5 visa process:

  • Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative):
    • The filing fee for Form I-130 is $535. This fee is paid by the U.S. citizen petitioner.
  • Form DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Application):
    • The filing fee for the DS-260 form is paid online through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC). This fee is $325
  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) Fee:
    • There is a separate $120 fee associated with the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864). The exact fee amount can change, so it’s important to check the USCIS website for the most up-to-date information.
  • Medical Examination Fee:
    • The beneficiary will likely need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. The cost of the medical examination is not a government fee but is paid directly to the medical facility.