Can Parents Get A US Green Card Through IR-5 Visa?

Posted on November 18, 2021
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IR-5 visa for parents green card

Getting a US green card has become synonymous with the American Dream. Scores of people abroad petition to live a better life offered by the United States of America. There are several ways to achieve that dream. Coming into the country with a work visa, or being sponsored by a US citizen. 

As a US citizen, you might be eligible to sponsor your foreign-born parents so that can come to the US on a green card and live and work in the US as permanent residents. The Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa, or as it is called – IR-5 visa is the visa that you can apply for that will allow parents of a US citizen to lawfully live and work in the United States.

Why The IR-5 Visa?

Sponsoring a green card for your foreign-born parents to come and work in the US is an option for certain US citizens. One way to go about it is by applying for a IR-5 visa that enables parents of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old to live in the US. This move could be for many reasons including greater proximity to family, better healthcare, or an improved standard of living. This visa is granted abroad and issued at the US embassy or consulate in the home country of the parents’ residence.

IR-5 Visa Eligibility

To be eligible to for an IR-5 visa, the sponsor will need to fulfil certain criteria. 

  • The sponsor has to be at least 21years or older.
  • The sponsor should be a US citizen.
  • The sponsor should provide proof that he has the financial means to support the parent until they start working.
  • The sponsor should be a resident of the US at the time of sponsoring his parents. He should be able to show proof of residence.
  • The sponsor must be able to produce his birth certificate that states his parents he intends to sponsor.

Complete Process To Apply For IR-5 Visa To Sponsor Green Card For Parents

IR-5 visa or the Immediate Relative Immigrant Visa can be applied for either from the home country of the parent’s residence or from the US. The parents have to be present in the US to apply from within the US. Depending upon where they are filing from the process may slightly vary. If they are filing from outside the United States, their application will go through consular processing, which means the next steps will be processed at a US consulate in their home country. If the parents are situated in the US at the time of filing and are on a visitor visa, they will go through an adjustment of status.

Step 1 –  File Form I-130

The sponsor has to file Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative with USCIS. This will establish the parent-child relationship.

Step 2 – File Form DS-260 (filing outside the US) or File I-485 (filing inside the US)

Once the Form I-130 has been processed, the parent has to file for the DS-260, immigrant visa application with the National Visa Center (NVC). This is to prove eligibility and relationship with child.

If filing from within the US, then the parent will have to file for the I-485, Adjustment of status. At this point, the valid visa with which the parent entered the US will be adjusted.

Step 3 – Biometrics

Once the DS-260 or I-485 have been accepted, parents will have to get their fingerprinting doe at a date and time allocated by the US consulate or USCIS. In some cases, even the eyes are scanned and recorded.

Step 4 – Green Card Interview

At the interview stage, the parents would have to come to the designated location and date and time with the following documents – 

  • Appointment letter
  • A valid passport 
  • Two identical color photograph(s)
  • Birth certificate and/or Certificate of Naturalization of the sponsoring child
  • Parent’s marriage certificate 
  • Any other supporting documents establishing relationships (e.g. Divorce certificate, adoption documents, etc.)

Step 5 – Green Card Approval

If the interview was successful and the documents were satisfactory, the the visa will be granted, and the parent will be able to immigrate to the United States. Their green card is mailed to their US address after arrival.

Document List For IR-5 Visa

  • Form I-130
  • Form DS-260
  • Form I-485
  • Appointment letter
  • A valid passport 
  • Two identical color photograph(s)
  • Birth certificate and/or Certificate of Naturalization of the sponsoring child
  • Parent’s marriage certificate 
  • Any other supporting documents establishing relationships (e.g. Divorce certificate, adoption documents, etc.)

Takeaway

Having your parents come and stay with you is a beautiful thing. However, not many are able to achieve this if the child is a US citizen and parents are not. If all eligibility criteria are met and process is completed, the parents can even apply for US citizenship after a period of 5 years of continuous residence in the USA. It always better to consult an immigration lawyer before proceeding with the immigration process.

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