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How to Process the IR-5 Visa (Parent Green Card)

How to Process the IR-5 Visa (Parent Green Card)

With an IR-5 Visa, you can give your parents the gift of permanent US residence. As they have a US citizen child with legal residence in the United States, they are entitled to live and work in the country through this Family Green Card.

Before pursuing the IR-5 Visa application process, check that you and your parents are eligible. Otherwise, you could be wasting your time on the lengthy application process.

To apply, you must be a US citizen aged 21 years or older with a registered US address and sufficient funds to support your parents. Your foreign parents must be able to prove their relationship with you.

Application Steps for the IR-5 Visa

There are two steps involved in securing an IR-5 Visa.

Step 1: Petition

Before the foreign parent can apply for permanent residence, their child living in the US must file a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

The petition is known as the Petition for Alien Relatives, or Form I-130. It can be submitted online (on the individual’s USCIS account) or by mail. There is a standard fee of $535.

Applicants can expect to wait a few months to receive the decision from USCIS. In this time, the application will be investigated by USCIS and the Department of Homeland Security.

If USCIS is comfortable with proceeding with the application, the US citizen will be informed by the National Visa Centre (NVC) that their petition has been approved.

Individuals whose petitions have been denied will be contacted by USCIS with an explanation. Some candidates may resubmit the form, but others will not be permitted to do so.

Step 2: Visa Application

Once the foreign national parent is informed that their child’s petition has been approved, they can apply for the IR-5 Visa whenever they are ready. This application costs $325 for processing and $120 for the affidavit of support.

The form for this visa is the Immigration Visa Electronic Application (DS-260), and it can be completed on the Consular Eletronic Application Centre (CEAC) website. Candidates must provide their NVC number and invoice ID number to be able to submit this visa application.

When the application has been submitted, there will be a confirmation page with an application number and details of the next steps. For example, applicants are asked to get a medical examination certificate from a licensed doctor and evidence of vaccinations.

The final stage is the IR-5 Visa interview at a US consulate or embassy. The foreign parent must answer questions about their reasons for moving to the US, their relationship with their adult child, and their future plans.

Applicants who pass the interview will receive a US Green Card in the mail. The average IR-5 Visa processing time 2023 is 6-12 months, though delays often occur.

Documentation Needed for the IR-5 Visa

All supporting documents must be photocopies of original documents. If any documents are not written in English, the applicant is asked to provide official translations.

Documentation for the Petition

  • Birth certificate (with both parents names)
  • Record of any name changes (including parents)
  • Proof of United States citizenship
  • Evidence of termination of all previous marriages
  • Marriage certificate

Documentation for the IR-5 Visa Application

  • Marriage certificate
  • Proof of nationality
  • Police certificates
  • Military records
  • Marriage termination documents
  • Sponsored relative’s documents (proof of domicile, evidence of sufficient funds and documents proving marriage termination)

Documentation for the IR-5 Visa Interview

  • USCIS appointment letter
  • Two colour photographs (must be identical)
  • Valid passport
  • Police certificates
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Marriage certificate
  • Birth or adoption certificate
  • Divorce decree or death certificate
  • Change of name deed poll
  • Military records
  • Court records

Associated Fees for the IR-5 Visa

The minimum IR-5 Visa cost is $1080.

This includes the following obligatory fees:

  • Form DS-260 processing fee ($325)
  • Form I-130 filing fee ($535)
  • USCIS immigrant fee ($220)

Some applicants will also have to pay for a medical examination, vaccinations and document translation. If this isn’t stated, it can be assumed that only the main fees apply.

When Does the IR-5 Visa Expire?

The IR-5 Visa usually expires after 10 years. Candidates can renew this Green Card to ensure they keep their IR-5 Visa status. It’s recommended to do this at least 6 months before the visa expiry date.

All Green Cards can be renewed online for a set fee. It costs $455 to renew IR-5 Visa validity via Form I-90.

Benefits of the IR-5 Visa

The IR-5 Visa opens up a pathway for parents to reunite with their children in the United States. As well as establishing family security, it can also resolve financial issues. This is because IR-5 Visa holders can work and study in the US permanently.

A large number of the benefits of this visa come several years after the applicant has been approved for the IR-5. For example, after 5 years, individuals with this visa can apply for US citizenship. They may also qualify for Social Security benefits.

There is also the opportunity to reunite the family further, as IR-5 Visa holders can sponsor their spouse and/or unmarried children to live and work in the US.

Importance of Legal Assistance

It is the responsibility of immigration lawyers to develop a thorough understanding of the US immigration process, so that you can put your full trust into an industry expert. This helps keep the process calm, logical and beneficial.

Legal assistance is incredibly important for every type of US Visa. As the IR-5 Visa reunites families, it’s even more important that the visa application is of the highest quality possible.


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