What is the IR5 Visa?
The IR5 Visa is a Family Based Green Card and is primarily designed to allow a parent or parents of a US citizen who are at least 21 years old to enter the US. That is, the US citizen must be at least 21 years of age.
The IR5 is one of a group of immediate relative green cards. This means there are no limits or quotas that only allow a certain number of people to enter the US using this visa in a given year. As a result, the applicant is able to receive their visa without needing to wait for their application to become current.
When obtaining this visa, the eligible applicant can live and work freely in the US without needing to hold an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD).
What is the Eligibility Criteria for an IR5 Visa?
Any parent or parents of a US citizen over the age of 21 years old are eligible for this visa. However, there are still some fundamental requirements which both the US citizen and their parents must fulfil.
The US Citizen must;
- Be a minimum of 21 years of age
- Have sufficient financial stability to support the parent entering the US until they start working
- Live in the US and have an American address
- Have a parent that lives overseas (the one wishing to enter the US)
- Prove the relationship between themselves and the parent using a birth certificate
What Documents Do I Require for an IR5 Visa?
As part of the application process, the applicant will need to submit a number of documents to obtain an IR5 Visa. The documents needed will depend on the specific circumstances of the applicant. However, all of these documents will always need to be included;
- A valid passport that will remain valid for at least 6 months after entry to the US
- A signed I-864 (Affidavit of Support form from the US petitioner)
- The confirmation page of the DS-260 Form
- Medical examination and vaccination documents
- A valid birth certificate that can prove the relationship between the US citizen and their parent
- Two photographs (that fit the US Visa photo requirements) for each individual applying for the visa
- Any court and criminal records and/or police certificate
- Military records if the applicant has ever served in the military
What is the IR5 Application Process?
The IR5 Visa process can be a long one. It has two main stages; the petition state (completed by the US citizen) and the application stage (completed by the applicant). The petition must first be accepted before the applicant can start their own process.
The Petition Stage
This is the first step in the process of obtaining an IR5 Visa. The applicant must first fill out a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relatives) and submit it to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This will usually take a few months to be processed by the USCIS, who will then send a response to you once it has been.
If rejected, the reasons for this will be given to you and you will have a chance to resubmit your petition.
If approved, details of the next steps in the process will be given to you by the National Visa Centre (NVC). They will then take over the IR5 Visa application from this point forwards. Within the package given to you by the NVC will be an application case number and an invoice ID number.
The Application Process
If your petition is approved, the paren/s of the US citizen can then begin the application process. They will begin by completing a DS-260 (Immigrant Visa Electronic Application) Form. This form will ask for general information about the applicant’s background alongside other personal information.
Once the application is completed a summary sheet should be displayed. It is essential that the applicant print this and keep it safe, as it will need to be in the portfolio section of required documents that the NVC will want to see.
Medical Exams and Vaccinations
The package you receive from the NVC will also include information on medical examinations and vaccinations which the prospective Green Card holder will need to undertake. The parent/s will be required to visit a licensed doctor to undertake these.
It is essential you provide signed confirmation of the medical examinations and vaccinations that have been undertaken. This will also be included in your portfolio of required documents.
What Happens in an IR5 Visa Interview?
Once you have sent all the required documents, the NVC will organise an interview for the applicant at the US embassy in the UK which they are applying from.
The interview will be conducted by an immigration official, who will ask questions that are related to your application. It is the interviewer’s job to decide whether to grant you permission to enter the US.
If they are satisfied with the information you provide and you are approved, you will be given a sealed package, which must be brought to the US with you when you travel. When arriving in the US, this package must be given to the border official.
What are the Fees for an IR5 Visa?
There are a number of fees associated with obtaining an IR5 Visa.
- A Form I-130 filing fee
- A processing fee for the Form DS-260
- Fees for any translation of your documents
- Medical exam and vaccinations fees
- Fees that are to be paid to the USCIS as an immigrant
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Luckily, for the IR5 visa, there are no quotas as to the amount of people per year that can apply and receive this visa type. This means that applicants will not have to wait for their application to become current before beginning their visa application. Once the petition is approved, which can take a few months, the full application process can begin.
Overall, the length of time to obtain the IR5 Visa will generally be between 6 months to a year.
Bear in mind that the processing time can be lengthened if you miss out or provide incorrect documents, provide fraudulent information or if you do not fit one of the requirements for the IR5 Visa.
To be eligible for an IR5 Visa you must be the parent of a US citizen. You also must;
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Have a son or daughter who is a US citizen and has a valid address within the US
- Be financially stable enough to support yourself
- Be able to prove your kinship with your US sponsor through a valid and genuine birth certificate
Total Law is made up of a team of professional lawyers that have expertise in the IR5 Visa application process. They can help you every step of the way, whether that be checking over necessary documents, helping you check your eligibility and constructing a successful application with you.
To speak to one of our lawyers you can contact us at 0333 305 9375.