Taking a Look at the IR-5 Visa

U.S. citizens who have parents living overseas have the opportunity to bring their parents into the U.S. This process often involves applying for an IR-5 and green card simultaneously. The IR-5 visa permits parents to enter the U.S. while the Green Card gives the parent lawful permanent resident status the moment they arrive into the country.

The Purpose of an IR-5 Visa

An IR-5 visa which is an Immediate Relative (IR) family-based visa category is available for family members of the U.S. Citizens. The IR-5 visa is designated to offer foreign-born parents of U.S. citizens a pathway to obtaining lawful permanent residency. Additionally, to living in the U.S. the IR-5 visa can enable the beneficiary to work legally in the U.S. without an employment authorization document (EAD). Ask an immigration law expert for advice when it comes to working in the U.S. without a work permit after obtaining an IR-5 visa.

Taking parents to the U.S. can provide great benefits such as:

  • Family unity
  • Safety
  • Work opportunities and oftentimes
  • An overall better standard of living

If you are a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years of age and both you and your parents are eligible and admissible into the U.S., you may be able to bring your parents to come live with you.

Does it Really Take Long to Get an IR-5 Visa?

Usually, the complete process for applying for and receiving an approval for an IR-5 visa may take up to a year. Like most if not all U.S. visa applications, obtaining an IR-5 visa is a process that involves several steps along with application fees. The exact time may vary depending on:

  • How fast forms like the I-130 are processed
  • How fast the U.S. Embassy or Consulate may take to process an application in your parent’s home country
  • External factors that can unexpectedly affect the processing times

Note that most of the wait time is out of the applicant’s control but the benefit when receiving an IR-5 visa category is that it grants family members an opportunity to immigrate to the U.S. with no caps or annual limits. This means that when applying for an immediate relative based visa like the IR-5, the applicant does not have to wait for a visa or for a priority date to become current. This cuts short the wait times considerably in comparison to other visas that require applicants to sometimes wait up to years for a visa to become accessible.

Applying for an IR-5 Visa

There are two significant stages to getting an IR-5 visa. First, both the parent and the U.S. citizen child must decide if they both meet all the eligibility requirements. If yes, the U.S. citizen (the petitioner also known as the sponsor) can start the process by submitting a petition with USCIS. The sponsor then files Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative and then Form I-864, Affidavit of Support for the parent (the principal applicant also known as the beneficiary).

After USCIS has approved the petition then the parent can proceed with the second stage that is applying for a U.S. green card.

An Immigration Law Firm Can Help You

Regardless of what stage you are in when applying for the IR-5 it is best to consult with an immigration attorney. Gambacorta Law Office can help you with the IR-5 visa application process. Give us a call at 847 443 9303.