IR5 Family VISA

What is the IR5 visa?

The IR5 visa is a family-based immigrant visa. Permits parents of citizens of the United States to settle here permanently. The visa sponsor, who must be a US citizen, must be at least 21 years old. Holders of an IR5 visa are permitted to reside and work in the US.

The IR5 visa is an immediate relative green card. It does not have an annual limit. This means you don’t have to wait for priority dates after you apply. You will get the visa easily if you follow the proper procedure and meet all the requirements.

Who is eligible for the IR5 visa?

You have to fulfill the following conditions in order to be eligible for an IR5 visa:

  • Must be a parent of a citizen of the United States born abroad.
  • A minimum of 21 years old is required.
  • You have to provide documentation of your link to the US citizen.

The US citizen also has to fulfill the following criteria:

  • Must be at least 21 years old.
  • They must be financially capable enough to support the IR5 applicant until they start working and earning.
  • Must reside in the United States with a registered address.

What documents are required?

The specific documents you need to submit vary depending on your circumstances. However, you will need to provide all or most of the following documents:

  • Valid international passport
  • DS-260 form confirmation page
  • Approved Form I-130
  • Signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support from U.S. Signatory
  • Medical examination certificate
  • Vaccination documents (if applicable)
  • Passport photographs as per US visa requirements
  • Valid birth certificate proving the relationship between you and the US citizen.
  • Court certificate, criminal record or police
  • Military documents, if the applicant has served in the military.
  • Documents should be in English. If not, you must provide a certified English translation.

IR5 visa application process:

The IR5 visa application process takes place in 2 phases: the petition phase and the application phase. A visa request is only possible after the petition is approved.

Petition Phase I-130:

The US citizen sponsoring the IR5 applicant must file a petition with USCIS with Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relatives. They have to pay the filing fee for processing the form.

Processing may take a few months as USCIS will send your case to the Department of Homeland Security to perform a background check. After processing, USCIS will notify the sponsor of its decision on the petition.

If USCIS denies your petition, it will notify you of the reasons behind the refusal and if you are eligible to reapply. They will forward the case to the National Visa Center (NVC) if it is accepted. After reviewing the petition, the NVC will get in touch with the IR5 applicant to provide further details.

Specifically, this will contain the case number of the approved petition and the ID number of the invoice. With these details, the applicant can then proceed to apply for the IR5 visa.

Visa application phase:

The US parent can apply immediately after receiving the information from NVC as the IR5 visa does not have an annual limit. You may apply by submitting Form DS-260, Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa.

It is an online form and you mainly need to provide certain information about yourself. You need to pay the application fee for processing the form. After submitting the form, print the confirmation page which will contain your application number.

The NVC information will also contain instructions on medical tests and vaccinations to be carried out. This is mandatory to prove that you are in good health to enter and live in the United States.

The medical test must be performed by a licensed physician. Vital supporting papers include the certificate of medical examination and the record of immunizations.

Next, the embassy will invite you for a visa interview which you will have to attend after submitting all the required documents.

IR5 Visa Interview:

The visa interview is the decisive stage of your visa application. The interview will take place in one of the American embassies or consulates in your home nation. During the interview, an immigration official will question you about your application.

The questions will mainly concern your relationship with the US citizen. Your performance at the interview, along with the authenticity of the documents presented, will largely determine whether or not the consular officer will approve your visa application. In some cases, the embassy may require some special requirements for further processing.

If your visa is approved, you will receive a visa package that you will need to present at the US port of entry. You don’t have to open the package yourself. At the port of entry, immigration officers will examine your package. They will review your travel documents and decide whether you meet the entry requirements. If they grant you entry, you will be able to enter the United States as a permanent resident with IR5 status.

Special requirements:

The circumstances surrounding the US citizen’s birth, such as whether it happened when the parents were “in wedlock” (married) or “out of wedlock” (single), may give rise to some unique criteria. In addition, if the parents are adopted or stepparents, there can be additional criteria.

For mothers applying from outside the United States, the sponsoring citizen must submit:

  • Birth certificate showing their name and that of their mother
  • Copy of naturalization certificate or passport if not born in the United States.

For a father applying from outside the United States, the sponsored child must submit:

  • Copy of the birth certificate with the names of both parents.
  • Copy of naturalization certificate or passport if not born in the United States.
  • Copy of parent’s legal marriage certificate

If the sponsored child was born out of wedlock and was NOT legally recognized by the father before the age of 18, he will have to present:

  • Copy of birth certificate with father’s names.
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate or passport if you were not born in the United States.
  • Evidence of a financial or emotional connection between the child and the father before marriage or before turning 21, whichever came first.

If the adopted child was born out of wedlock and legally recognized by his father before the age of 18, he must present:

  • Copy of birth certificate with father’s names.
  • A copy of your naturalization certificate or passport if you were not born in the United States.
  • Proof that the child was legitimized before the age of 18 by the marriage of his natural parents or by the laws of the state or country of his father’s birth.

If a sponsored child wants to bring a stepparent to America, she must submit:

  • Copy of the birth certificate with the names of the natural parents
  • Copy of naturalization certificate or passport if not born in the United States
  • Copy of the natural parent’s civil marriage certificate certifying that the marriage took place before the child turned 18.
  • Copies of divorce decrees, death certificates, or annulment judgments to demonstrate that the natural child’s or stepparent’s previous marriage ended for legal reasons.

If the sponsored child wants to bring his adoptive parents to the United States, he must provide:

  • Copy of birth certificate
  • Copy of naturalization certificate or passport if not born in the United States.
  • Proof that the sponsored child was adopted before his or her 16th birthday.
  • Declaration of the dates and places where the sponsored child resided with his parents.

IR5 visa application fees

The following rates apply to the request for the IR5 Green Card:

  • Form I-130 filing fee ($535)
  • DS-260 Form Processing Fee (325)
  • Fees for translating your documents (if applicable)
  • Expenses for medical visits and vaccinations (if applicable)
  • USCIS Immigrant Fee: $220

How long is the IR5 processing time?

IR5 visa processing can take anywhere from 6 months to a year. The processing time depends primarily on the time it takes to process the Form I-130 petition. Once the petition is approved, the DS-260 form request takes a shorter time.

How long does the IR5 visa last?

The IR5 visa is a Green Card, so you can live and work in the United States permanently. However, the validity of most green cards expires after 10 years. An expired Green Card does not mean you are no longer a permanent resident of the United States; you just have to renew it.

You should apply for renewal any time starting 6 months before your Green Card expires. For this, you must submit Form I-90, Application for Replacement of Permanent Resident Card. You will file this form even if you lose your Green Card document. The filing fee is $455.

The renewal process is simple and usually all you need to do is provide a copy of your expiring Green Card. However, you will provide other documents if it is a lost or stolen green card. You can only lose your status if you break a serious law that results in deportation.


How do I find out my IR5 priority date?

The IR5 is an immediate relative green card and has no annual limit. You don’t have to wait for a priority date. You may apply immediately upon receiving your approved Form I-130 petition NVC package.

How do I renew my green card?

You can renew your green card by submitting Form I-90, Application to Replace Permanent Resident Card. You must apply for renewal within 6 months before the visa expiry date.

What is the difference between IR0 and IR5?

The IR0 and IR5 visas are both for parents of US citizens. However, while the IR5 visa is for overseas-based parents of US citizens, the IR0 visa is for parents of US citizens who are already in the US and are simply changing their status.

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