Immediate relative (IR) visas allow relatives of US citizens to immigrate to the United States. Relatives include spouses, children, parents, and adopted children. There are many benefits to obtaining these visas. For example, holders of these visas can work in the United States without getting an Employment Authorization Document. They can also go to school and continue their higher education. Fortunately, the annual issuance of these visas does not have a yearly cap. Therefore, once the petition is approved, applicants can start the visa application process in their home country and do not have to wait for the priority date.
The categories of IR visas are: IR1, IR 2, IR 3, IR 4, and IR5 or US Parent Visa. In the following paragraphs, we intend to address the requirements of IR5 visa, processing time, interview questions, and other details.
What is a US Parent Visa or IR5 visa?
This visa is issued to parents of US citizens who are at least 21 years old. Holders of these visas can live and work in the United States without an Employment Authorization Document.
What are the requirements for an IR5 visa?
In order for Lawful permanent residents to be able to bring their parents to the United States, they must consider the following:
- US citizens must be at least 21 years old.
- They have to support their parents financially until they find a job.
- Their parents must live in a foreign country.
- In order to prove the relationship between US citizens and their parents, it is necessary to provide documents such as a birth certificate.
How to apply for a US Parent Visa?
The IR5 visa application process generally has two steps. The US citizen first files a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS. If the request is approved, parents must initiate the visa application process through their consulate or embassy in their home country.
Submit a petition to the USCIS
A US citizen must first complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives, and submit it to the USCIS. Besides, supporting documents must be provided. Also, the US citizen needs to pay a filing fee at this stage. It takes several months for the Department of Homeland Security to review the petition. The USCIS then announces the outcome of the appeal. If the petition is rejected, the USCIS will explain the reasons for the decision to the petitioner. Otherwise, the file will be handed over to the National Visa Center (NVC), and from this point onward, this organization will be responsible for handling the case. NVC first reviews the case and then sends a package to the petitioner’s parents abroad. This package contains information such as case number and invoice ID number.
Apply for an IR5 visa
Once the petition is approved, parents can begin the visa application process immediately. To do so, they must apply for an IR5 visa at the US Embassy or Consulate in their home country. The steps they need to go through:
1. Complet and submit Form DS-260
This form is available online on the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) and contains questions about the applicant’s background. The applicant should answer all the items in this form completely and correctly. After completing and submitting Form DS-260, a confirmation page will appear, which must be saved because the applicants must provide it as part of their documentation.
2. Perform medical examinations and vaccinations
The NVC package explains to applicants what tests should be done at this stage and what vaccines should be given. Applicants must go to a licensed physician at this stage to complete and sign some documents. These documents must also be sent to NVC eventually.
3. Provide the necessary documents
Parents must provide some documentation to NVC. The presentation of these documents shows that the parents are eligible to immigrate to the United States. These documents include:
- Valid Passport: Parents’ passports must be valid for at least six months after they arrive in the United States.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support that must be signed by a US citizen
- Form DS-260 confirmation page
- Documents related to medical examinations
- Applicants must provide a valid birth certificate to prove their relationship with the US citizen.
- Two photos
- Criminal records
- If the applicants have served in the military, they can also provide military records
In addition to the documents listed, NVC may request other materials depending on the circumstances.
4. Participate in a visa interview
An important part of the visa application process is attending the interview. If the applicants’ documents are complete, NVC will schedule an interview for them. This interview will be held at the embassy. During the interview, the consular officer will ask questions about the reasons for migrating to the United States. In the end, the consular officer decides whether to grant the visa to the applicant. Therefore, the applicant should try to answer all questions carefully and honestly.
5. Get another NVC package and travel to the US
After the interview, the embassy will inform you of the outcome of the visa application. If the applicant’s visa application is approved, NVC will provide another package to the applicant through the embassy. You should note that applicants should not open this package under any circumstances. After the applicant enters the United States, the immigration officers open the package and decide on the applicant’s arrival in the United States.
How much does it cost to apply for an IR5 visa?
Applicants and US citizens, as petitioners, must pay fees during the US parent visa application process. The USCIS determines the exact amount of these costs. But in general, applicants for US parent visa must pay a fee for each of the following actions or services:
- Filing Form I-130
- Form DS-260 processing
- Performing medical examinations
- Translation of documents into English
- Getting supporting documents
- USCIS Immigrant Fee: All those who intend to immigrate to the United States on an IR5 visa must pay this fee. This fee must be paid after receiving the visa and before entering the United States. Otherwise, USCIS will not issue a Green Card.
How long does it take to evaluate the documents and issue the US Parent Visa?
Fortunately, the annual issuance of IR visas is not limited. Applicants for US parent visa do not have to wait until their priority date becomes current, so the processing time will not be a bit long. In general, most applicants wait between six months and one year to receive their visas.
Let’s sum up …
In this article, we defined the IR5 visa, its requirements, application process, processing time, and other details. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas and how to immigrate to other countries.
If you have experience in the visa application process, we would be very grateful if you could share it with other readers and us through the comments section. Conveying your experiences can be very valuable and helpful. Besides, we will be very happy to receive your constructive comments and suggestions.