Are you a U.S. citizen, but your parents aren’t? If so, your parents may be eligible for an IR-5 Visa. The IR-5 Visa allows parents of U.S. citizens to enter the United States to visit or reside with their child.
The child must be at least 21 years old to sponsor their parent’s application and they must meet specific financial requirements set by the U.S. government to prove they can support their parent adequately. Additionally, they need a valid U.S. address where they live and be able to provide a valid birth certificate to prove their relationship.
The IR-5 Visa offers several benefits for parents. There is no limit to the number of times visas are available each year for IR-5 visa applicants. This visa allows a parent to stay in the United States as a permanent resident, meaning they can live and work without any restrictions imposed by their visa status. They also won’t need an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). Additionally, it provides access to public healthcare and other government services that U.S. citizens enjoy. It’s essential to start the application process as soon as possible and be aware of any potential changes in requirements or delays in processing times.
After receiving the IR-5 visa, parents can stay in the United States for up to ten years without needing to renew the visa. However, they can apply for U.S. Citizenship after five years of permanent residency.
The U.S. government requires that the sponsoring child has an income of at least 125 percent over the federal poverty line. The federal poverty line is currently set at:
The amount will continue to increase based on the household size. Additionally, this figure is updated annually to account for inflation and changes to the cost of living. The USCIS website maintains the latest poverty guidelines for all household sizes.
Applying for an IR-5 visa if your parents are already living in the United States requires some key steps.
For a noncitizen to adjust status to a lawful permanent resident, the applicant must have been inspected and admitted or paroled into the U.S. This means you meet the requirements to be legally in the United States. Additionally, the sponsoring child must meet all the requirements.
To apply for the IR-5 visa, you’ll need to gather several documents. These include:
Both of these forms can have lengthy processing times. However, you can file them concurrently as long as your parent has a valid nonimmigrant visa and is currently in the United States. You’ll also need to pay the fees associated with each form.
Once you submit your forms, you’ll receive a receipt notice within two to three weeks after filing.
Alternatively, your parents may be living in a county other than the United States. If this is the case, after the sponsoring child submits Form I-130, the parent will be asked to fill out Form DS-260, immigrant visa application, and submit documentation proving they are the parent. The National Visa Center (NVC) will receive Form Ds-260 and may ask for additional evidence.
This form is necessary to demonstrate that the parent has a financial sponsor in the United States. This form must also be accompanied by evidence of the child’s income or financial resources equal to at least 125 percent over the federal poverty guideline for household size.
If the sponsoring child’s income doesn’t meet the Federal Poverty Guidelines, they can submit the value of assets to make up the difference with Form I-864EZ. The total net value of the assets must equal five times the difference between the sponsor’s income and the 125 percent of the poverty level for the household size. Additionally, the assets must be convertible to cash within 12 months from the date of application. If the assets are in another country, they must show they can be relocated to the United States.
Finally, the sponsor may count non-taxable income (such as a housing allowance) as a part of their salary.
The parent must complete an immigration medical examination conducted by a government-authorized doctor. They will review the applicant’s medical history, check for contagious diseases, and review the applicant’s vaccination records. The purpose of the medical examination is to ensure that the applicant is not inadmissible on health-related grounds.
You could schedule your exam before you begin the application process and submit your medical exam results with your application package. However, the form must be signed by a civil surgeon no more than 60 days before submitting Form I-485. If your medical examination is submitted after your application, the results are valid for two years.
After the applicant’s parent completes all the required documents and forms, it’s time for the interview. The USCIS will schedule an in-person interview at an office near you. The interviews usually last about 30 minutes, during which a USCIS officer will ask questions like:
The best approach during the interview is to stay composed and be truthful. You can also bring an attorney with you to make sure you provide the right answers.
Once the interview is complete, the officer will decide on your application. If approved, you will receive a green card in the mail. You may also be required to attend a biometrics appointment if needed.
If your application is approved, USCIS will mail you a green card within 90 days of your interview and your completed fee payments. The green card will allow you to live and work in the U.S. lawfully for as long as you are following immigration laws and regulations. You can also apply for U.S. citizenship after five years of residence in the U.S. if eligible.
Remember that the IR-5 visa process takes time and requires a lot of paperwork and evidence. Make sure you are following all the guidelines and providing all necessary documents to avoid any delays.
The processing time will vary based on your field office or service center.
For example, as of December 2022, if you are a U.S. citizen filing an I-130 for a parent using the California Service Center, you can expect it to take ten months. If you are using the Vermont Service Center, you can expect it to take 16 months on average.
For Form I-485, you can expect a processing time of 23 months on average. However, the processing times vary greatly: Baltimore is 49 months, and in Yakima, Washington, it’s 21.5 months.
You can use the USCIS Processing Times calculator to determine what to expect for your case and location.
You’ll have to pay processing fees for several different forms and steps in the application process, including:
Other costs could include translators, photocopying, obtaining official documents like birth certificates, passports, police certificates, and travel expenses for the interview. Overall, the cost of an IR-5 visa can total several thousand dollars. Make sure you understand all the costs associated with your application before filing and track application deadlines to prevent any delays or denials.
Hiring an attorney to help with the IR-5 visa process can be beneficial. An attorney will have specialized knowledge of immigration law and procedures, as well as experience with complex cases. They can guide you through all necessary steps and ensure that your forms are in order and that you understand all requirements for successfully completing the application.
Additionally, an attorney can help you gather the necessary documents and provide legal advice on problems such as criminal records or problems with prior applications. They can also represent you at your interview and in any appeal hearings.
Having an experienced attorney by your side can make a big difference in the success of your application for an IR-5 visa. It’s worth taking the time to find an attorney who will be able to provide you with the best legal representation and advice for your case.
Scott D. Pollock and Associates is an immigration law firm with an expert staff. We have over 30 years of experience navigating the complexities of family immigration cases and we are passionate about helping families reunite. Our experienced attorneys understand the importance of this process to our clients. They will work diligently to ensure you have all the information and resources you need to get the results you seek.
We provide personalized attention from start to finish, keeping you updated every step of the way. When it comes to family immigration cases, trust our experienced professionals at Scott D. Pollock & Associates for reliable and effective legal representation. Contact us today for more information or to schedule an appointment. Reach us by filling out an online form.
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