An IR-5 visa is one of the ways to unite American citizens with their parents who are not American citizens. If you can secure this type of visa, then your parents may be able to come to the United States in short order.
In addition, immediate relative status may even lead to your parents receiving a green card or permanent citizenship. Obtaining an IR-5 visa may be the most immediate way to get your parent or parents to the U.S. An immigration attorney can help you complete the IR-5 visa application process.
What Is the IR-5 Visa for Parents?
The IR-5 visa is a type of “immediate relative” visa, hence the “IR” designation. There are several types of immediate relative visas. This visa specifically pertains to parents of United States citizens.
Who Qualifies for the IR-5 Visa?
The IR-5 visa is designated for parents of United States citizens who are at least 21 years old. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) explains that “immediate relatives” of American citizens include:
- A parent of a U.S. citizen who is more than 21 years old
- A spouse
- A child who is under 21 years old and is not married
- Other relatives who qualify for immediate-relative status
The IR-5 visa pertains specifically to parents of United States citizens aged 21 years or older. Therefore, if you are an American citizen aged 21 years or older and your parent is not a United States citizen (and is living outside the United States currently), then your parent may qualify for an IR-5 visa.
There are also criteria for the adult child whose parent would receive an IR-5 visa. The child must:
- Be 21 years old (or older)
- Be able to support their parent financially, at least until the parent can begin working in the United States.
- Currently live in the United States, with proof of a valid address in the United States
- Prove that they are the biological child of the potential IR-5 recipient using a birth certificate
An immigration lawyer can inform you of any other requirements that may be necessary for an IR-5 visa.
Why Would You Apply for an IR-5 Visa?
It may seem obvious why one would apply for an IR-5 visa: to be close to their parents. However, there may be even more pressing reasons to secure an IR-5 visa for your parent(s), including:
- That your parent is living in poverty and would enjoy a better quality of life near you in the United States
- That your parent’s current geographical region has experienced a natural disaster
- That your parent’s current geographical region is experiencing war or other forms of violence
- That your parent is experiencing persecution in their current region
To be clear: these circumstances are not necessary for your parent to obtain an IR-5 visa. However, such circumstances may be considered when you are seeking a visa for your parents.
What Benefits does the IR-5 Visa for Parents Provide?
The primary benefit of an IR-5 visa is that your parent can remain in the United States for the remainder of their life, so long as they abide by all conditions of the visa. Someone who successfully secures an IR-5 visa may:
- Live in the United States
- Work in the United States without needing to obtain an Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
Per Healthcare.gov, lawfully present immigrants may also qualify for certain benefits like medical care. However, there may be a waiting period to obtain such benefits if you or a loved one are eligible to receive them.
What Is the Process for Obtaining an IR-5 Visa?
Applying for an IR-5 visa may involve several steps, including:
- Determination of eligibility: You can work with an attorney to determine if your loved one is a candidate for an IR-5 visa.
- Submission of your application: You or your lawyer may petition for your parent to receive an IR-5 visa application. You will generally submit the petition to USCIS.
- If USCIS approves the petition, your loved one will need to apply to the local U.S. Embassy or Consulate: Your attorney may help prepare your loved one for this process.
Immigration issues are generally complex, and you may face various unforeseen circumstances. Therefore, having an immigration attorney assist you could be a significant asset to your application.
Contact an Immigration Lawyer from Our Office Today to Discuss Your IR-5 Visa
Bringing a parent to the United States can have a massive positive impact on you and your mother, father, or both. Even if your loved one qualifies for an IR-5 visa on paper, the application process may be challenging.
A lawyer who handles IR-5 visa petitions can lead you through the process. Call New Frontier Immigration Law today for an initial consultation. Our attorneys for immigration and support staff speak Spanish and other languages, and we are ready to help you.