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I-R5 Visa Attorneys in Pennsylvania Guiding Clients Through the Process of Sponsoring Parents

For many people, their family members are some of the most important people in their lives, and it can be incredibly difficult to be separate from those you hold dear. For U.S. citizens who currently have parents in another country, it may be possible to sponsor them for immigration through the IR-5 visa.

The IR-5 visa is one way to unite your family and be able to spend more time with the ones you love. But it is also a complicated immigration process that requires in-depth knowledge of the U.S. immigration laws for the best chance of success. Talk to the legal team at The Law Office or Rosina C. Stambaugh to get more information on how our firm can help you through the IR-5 visa process.

What Is the IR-5 Visa?

An IR-5 visa is a visa in the immediate relative visa category that allows U.S. citizens to sponsor their parents to come to the United States. The IR-5 visa allows your parents to live and work within the country, which can make it easier for them to start to build a new life. Immediate relative visas also don’t have any yearly caps, which means you don’t have to worry about waiting until one becomes available. Upon approval of an IR-5 visa, your parent will be granted a Green Card, which gives them lawful permanent resident status.

What Are the Eligibility Requirements for the IR-5 Visa?

To be eligible for an IR-5 visa, the parent must be admissible to the United States. If they are not admissible, there is the possibility of being able to apply for a waiver. However, this can be a difficult process that requires documentation and evidence as to why you should be accepted, and it’s a good idea to get counsel from an immigration attorney.

The parent must also be applying for the IR-5 visa from outside the United States. If your parent is already in the United States, they would apply for an adjustment of status instead.

What Documentation Do I Need for an IR-5 Visa?

To be able to apply for an IR-5 visa, you will need to establish a parent-child relationship. For a U.S. citizen child sponsoring their mother, the child will need to have a copy of their birth certificate that shows both their name and the mother’s name.

For a U.S. citizen child sponsoring their father, the child will need to have a copy of the birth certificate that shows both parents’ names and a copy of the parents’ marriage certificate, if applicable. If the parents were not married, there must be evidence of an emotional or financial bond between the sponsor and their father. That bond must have happened either before the child reached age 21 or was married — whichever was first.

It is also possible for a U.S. citizen to sponsor a stepparent or an adoptive parent, but the documentation requirements vary for these situations. Having a consultation with an immigration attorney can help you understand what you’ll need.

The parent will also need to have an unexpired passport and two passport style color photographs. These will be submitted at the required interview with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services office.

Are There Any Requirements for the U.S. Citizen Petitioner?

Children sponsoring a parent for immigration must also meet specific requirements. You must be at least 21 years old to be eligible to sponsor your parent. You must also be able to financially support the parent until the parent is able to start working legally within the United States. You will need to submit documentation of your financial status to prove that you can care for your parent without causing a financial burden. You must currently reside in the United States and have a valid U.S. address.

Can Someone With an IR-5 Visa Become a Citizen?

If your parents are hoping to become U.S. citizens, the IR-5 visa can be a stepping stone. After an IR-5 visa has been granted, the parent can apply for U.S. citizenship after a period of 5 years has passed. To be eligible to apply for citizenship, you must not have left the United States for longer than 6 months during the 5-year waiting period, and you have to have been a resident in the state you are filing in for at least the last 3 months.

Those applying for U.S. citizenship must be able to show that they are of “good moral character” and can be productive members of society. To be approved for citizenship, you must also be able to pass an English proficiency test and a civics test, which covers information on U.S. government and history. After all of your processing is complete, your citizenship is granted after your Oath of Allegiance ceremony. If your parent is hoping to become a U.S. citizen, it can help to talk with an immigration attorney so that they know what the process entails and how long they will need to wait between getting an IR-5 visa and applying for naturalization.

Getting through the visa application and approval process can take quite a bit of time, and there are many opportunities for error. Working with an experienced immigration attorney can help you expedite this process by ensuring that you understand what’s required and whether you are eligible and helping you complete the application process. Call 717-900-1818 to speak to an immigration attorney at The Law Office of Rosina C. Stambaugh.

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