September 27, 2021. 
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U.S. Parent Visa IR5 | Frequently Asked Questions

Since you’re here, you most likely either have a foreign-born parent whom you’d like to bring to the United States or you are the parent who wants to unite with their child in the United States. Either way, you might be unsure where to begin and you’re looking for various information on what to do. It is best to start with the basics and familiarize yourself with this visa type. Here, we put together a list of the most frequently asked questions regarding the IR5/parent visa. In case we haven’t managed to answer your question in this post, feel free to reach out to us and we’ll be glad to help!

1. What is the IR5 visa?

The IR5 visa is a U.S. immigrant visa issued to parents of U.S. citizens who are on their path to obtain a Green Card. The U.S. parent visa is considered to be an immediate relative visa which carries certain benefits, compared to a family preference visa. These benefits are reflected in the fact that the immediate relative visa category does not have an annual cap—there is an unlimited number of visas for all eligible applicants. Another great thing is that there is no waiting line for immediate relatives, which also speeds up the process.

2. How long is the U.S. parent visa valid for?

As other U.S. immigrant visas, the U.S. parent visa is typically valid for six months after being issued.

3. How long does it take for the U.S. parent visa to be processed?

It generally takes five to nine months for the U.S. parent visa to be processed. To stay updated on the progress of your visa application and to have 24/7 support from our agents, you can turn to VisaExpress—we’ll inform you on your case and answer any questions you may have.

4. How can I get the IR5 visa?

In order to obtain the IR5 visa, you will need to start the petition process on behalf of your parent, but both of you will need to take certain steps. You’ll need to pay the fees, fill the forms, and your parent will need to attend an Embassy interview. For a more detailed explanation of the process, you can check out our article: “5 Most Asked Questions About IR5 Parent Visa + Useful Tips”.

5. Is my parent eligible to apply for the U.S. parent visa?

The eligibility for the parent visa is determined by observing both your and your parent’s background/profile. Check your eligibility.

6. Can I petition for my parents if I’m under 21 years old?

No, you cannot start the U.S. parent visa petition if you’re under 21 years old. You will have to wait until your 21st birthday in order to meet the age requirement.

7. Can my parent visit me before their immigrant visa is issued?

Yes, your parent can visit you on a nonimmigrant visa. Precisely, the appropriate visa in this case would be a B2 tourist visa. Check if you're eligible for a parent visa.

8. Can my parent apply if they’re already in the U.S.?

Yes, your parent can apply from within the United States. The procedure is somewhat different than when one applies outside of the United States. In case of applying from the U.S., your parent will have to go through the Adjustment of Status process. The form needed for this situation is Form I-485.

Note: It is important to mention that in case your parent wants to travel to the U.S. on a visitor visa, for instance, it can be problematic for them to prove that they have strong ties to their home country considering the fact that their child is a U.S. citizen. The B2 Tourist visa is a nonimmigrant visa and a prerequisite for obtaining it in the first place is not having an immigrant intent. However, in case your parent obtains the B2 Tourist visa and they have a valid reason to immigrate (such as an emergency) and are also able to submit evidence that they did not have the preconceived intent to immigrate to the U.S. and did not willfully misinterpret the intention of visiting, they most likely won’t face any negative repercussions.

9. How can I petition for both of my parents?

If you want to bring both of your parents to live with you in the United States, you will need to file two petitions, separately.

10. Can I petition for my step-parent or adoptive parent?

Yes, you can petition for your step-parent or adoptive parent as well.

11. Do I meet the income requirements to sponsor my parents?

Whether or not you’re able to financially support your parents depends on various factors, such as your annual income, state where you live, the number of people in your household, and how many applicants you’re sponsoring. Access our free income calculator tool to see if you meet the requirements.

12. How much does the U.S. parent visa cost?

The cost of the U.S. parent visa includes government fees, medical examination, and additional costs. If your parent is already in the U.S. and they need to file for the adjustment of status, that will include an additional fee as well.

13. How much is the U.S. parent visa processing fee?

The processing fee for any U.S. immigrant visa is $325.

14. Do my parents need to attend an interview?

Your parents will need to attend an Embassy interview once their visa petition has been approved.

15. When will my parent receive a Green Card?

Once your parent’s visa application is approved, they will have six months to move to the United States. Their documentation will be reviewed once again by the Customs and Border Protection officials and if everything seems fine, they will be allowed entry into the U.S., and can apply for a Green Card immediately.

16. Can the IR5 visa be denied?

Visa denials are quite common, but in most cases the applicant is able to reapply. You should keep in mind that there’s a difference between visa rejection and visa denial. In case of visa rejection, you only need to submit the additional documents that you’re asked for, without paying the visa application processing fee. As for the visa denial, you will be required to start a new application and pay the fee again. In our article Top reasons for U.S. parent visa denial, we provided a list of the most common reasons for visa denial so you can learn what to expect before it’s too late.

17. Can I get my money back after visa denial?

The fee that you pay is a nonrefundable visa application processing fee. In case of visa rejection, in some situations, you can reapply without paying the fee again.

18. My petition was denied, can I appeal?

In case your U.S. parent visa petition has been denied, your child who is the petitioner can file an appeal and request a different authority to review the decision. However, it might be best to start a new petition since it may be difficult to prove that the USCIS made a mistake. To avoid visa denial, get professional online consulting with VisaExpress, maximize your chances of success, and avoid unnecessary expenses.

For any additional information regarding the IR5 visa application and immigration process, simply schedule an online consultation and benefit from educated advice tailored to your unique situation from one of our immigration consultants.


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