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How to Process the IR-5 Visa (Parent Green Card)

Sailun Tires

If you are a U.S. citizen who has non-U.S. citizen parents and wishes them to stay in the United States permanently, you might want to sponsor your parent(s) on an IR-5 parent visa.

The word “I.R.” in IR-5 refers to “Immediate Relative.” Though there are various sorts of immediate-relative green card categories, this article will only cover the one specifically designed for parents of U.S. citizens.

Introduction to the IR-5 Visa

The IR-5 Visa is a Green Card intended for parents of United States citizens who are 21 years and above.

It doesn’t have an annual cap, meaning there is no limitation on how many can be issued to applicants in a year. People who fulfil the criteria can get the IR-5 green card visa without waiting for priority dates.

To sponsor your parent’s application, you should be at least 21 years old and meet certain financial standards specified by the U.S. government to demonstrate that you can effectively support them. You must also have proof of U.S. residence and be able to present a valid birth certificate to show your relationship with the applicant.

Application Steps for the IR-5 Visa

Before commencing the visa application process, it’s essential to establish your relationship with your parents. This is done by submitting Form I-130, also known as the “Petition for Alien Relative.”

If you are sponsoring your parent as a U.S. citizen, you must file Form I-130. Your parent will then be required to submit Form DS-260, which is an application for an immigrant visa and proof showing that they are your parent. Form DS-260 will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), which may request more documentation after reviewing it.

This document must be submitted to provide evidence that the parent in question has a qualified sponsor in the U.S. Along with this form, they must provide documentation that their child’s income or economic resources are at least 125% over the national poverty line for family size.

After the petition is authorised, the applicant may begin the formal I-R5 Visa application procedure. They will start the process by filling out the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. 

This form will request basic background information as well as additional personal information. An overview sheet will be presented after the application has been completed. The applicant should print and save this page since it will be an essential element of their portfolio of papers to present to the NVC.

Documentation Needed

All I-R5 visa applications have to include the following documents:

  • A passport that is valid for at least 6 months after your scheduled arrival in America
  • A completed I-864 form
  • The DS-260 form’s confirmation page
  • Medical records and vaccination records
  • A valid birth certificate proving the applicant’s relationship to the U.S. citizen
  • Each applicant for the IR5 Visa must submit two images (following U.S. visa application photograph criteria).
  • Any judicial and/or criminal records, as well as a police certificate
  • If the candidate has served in the military in the past, they must submit their service records with them.

Associated Fees

The IR-5 visa application has various associated forms with different fees. 

Application Cost $325
Affidavit of Support $120
Form I-130 $535
Form I-485 $1,140
USCIS Immigrant Fee $220


Other fees that may arise throughout the procedure include supporting paperwork, medical checks, and translations, among others.

The parent may also need to apply for and complete certain vaccinations and medical examinations. The price of these procedures might vary based on the country and medical provider.

Benefits of IR-5 Visa

If your petition is granted, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will send the applicant their green card in the mail within 90 days of their arrival in the United States and the receipt of all their fees. IR-5 Visa validity is 10 years. There will be several benefits as an IR-5 Visa holder:

  • You can legally reside and work in the United States after obtaining a green card, provided that you comply with all immigration rules and regulations. 
  • The parent who has a green card is free to live and work anywhere within the United States. This freedom comes with the responsibility of paying taxes. They do not need a separate work permit to work legally in the United States.
  • Your parents get access to social security payments: IR-5 visa holders could become eligible for Social Security payments after working in the United States for several years and meeting other requirements.
  • The parent may apply for citizenship after 5 years of continuous presence in the United States as a green card holder. 
  • A parent may be eligible to sponsor their partner and unmarried kids under 21 for a visa to reside in the United States. 
  • People who have green cards are eligible to seek federal financial help to pay for their education, and they may also be able to pay “in-state” tuition rates at public universities.

Importance of Legal Assistance

Working with an immigration attorney to assist with the IR-5 visa procedure might be advantageous. They are well-versed in immigration law and processes. They can walk you through all of the stages and verify that all of your paperwork is in order and that you’re aware of all of the application process requirements.

They can assist you in gathering the essential paperwork and give legal guidance on issues like criminal histories or difficulties with earlier applications. 

Having an expert attorney on your side may make a significant difference in the outcome of your IR-5 visa application. It’s worth your time to choose an attorney who can give you the best legal counsel and guidance for your situation.


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