If you’re a U.S. citizen and you wish to bring your parents, who aren’t U.S. nationals, to live with you, you may want to know if you can get them a visa. The answer is yes. You can get a visa for your parents, who aren’t U.S. citizens, and have them live with you.
People want to get their parents a visa for numerous reasons. It could be because they want to give their parents better care and attention, they want their parents to spend more time with them, or they want their parents to visit the U.S. for some time.
The type of visa your parents will need to visit the U.S. will vary depending on the purpose. For example, if you want your parents to visit you in the US for a few weeks, they can apply for a visit visa. However, if you want your parents to move to the U.S. with you, they’ll need an IR-5 visa.
This blog post will help you understand the visa application process for your parents so that you can get your parents a visa and enjoy their presence around you!
Types of Visas
There are 2 types of visas that your parents can apply for if they wish to visit the United States of America:
- Visitor visa
- IR-5 visa
There are 38 countries whose citizens can visit the U.S. without a visa under the Visa Waiver Program. Your parents will be able to visit you for 90 days without needing any visa. However, if your parents live in any country that’s not on the list, they’ll need to apply for a visitor visa.
If your parents wish to come to the United States for only a few weeks for tourism, they’ll need a temporary visitor visa (B-2). They’ll need to apply for a business visa (B-1) if they want to come to the United States for business purposes. However, once they arrive in the US, they’ll only be able to visit friends and family and visit different places. They won’t be able to apply for employment.
If you want your parents to move to the US permanently, they’ll need an IR-5 visa. You, being a U.S. citizen, will initiate the application from the United States, and then your parents will have to schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their country.
The IR-5 parent visa allows U.S. citizens 21 years of age or older to bring their parents who aren’t U.S. citizens to live in the U.S. as permanent residents.
Eligibility for IR-5 Parent Visa
The eligibility criteria for the IR-5 visa are as follows:
- The U.S. citizen applying for their parents must be 21 years of age or older.
- S. citizens applying for their parents should have enough financial means to support their parents until they get a job.
- The U.S. citizen sponsoring the parents should have a U.S. address, and they should be living in the U.S. as well.
- The U.S. citizen applying for their parents should provide a copy of their birth certificate to verify that the person(s) they’re sponsoring are their parents.
How to Apply for an IR-5 Parent Visa
Applying for an IR (Immediate Relative) visa is a more extensive process than applying for a visitor visa. Below are the steps that one needs to follow if they wish to get their parents an IR-5 parent visa:
Filing for Petition for an Alien Relative (Form I-130)
The sponsor (U.S. citizen) will first have to file Form 1-130, establishing the relationship between parent and child. If the parents are outside the U.S., the application will have to go through consular processing. The local consulate will handle the application. However, filing the application from within the U.S., it’ll go through the adjustment of status.
If you’re applying through consular processing, your parents can’t come to the U.S. till their visa is processed and they get a green card. However, if you’re applying through adjustment of status, your parents can continue to live on their visitor visa till they get their green card, even if their current visa expires.
Establish the Parent’s Eligibility
Your parent(s)’s eligibility will also be checked. This is done differently, depending on whether your parents are applying for an IR-5 from within the U.S. or outside.
If your parents are applying for an IR-5 from within the U.S., they should have a valid visitor visa, or they should have entered through a Visa Waiver Program. After the sponsoring child has filed Form 1-130, the USCIS will have to grant their petition, after which the parent(s) will submit Form 1-485. After this, the USCIS will mail the parent(s) the time, date, and location for biometrics (fingerprints and eye scan).
If the parents are applying from outside the U.S., they’ll have to file Form DS-260 after the USCIS has granted their petition and also provide proof that they’re the sponsor’s parents. They send these documents to the NVC for review. NVC may ask the parent(s) to provide additional evidence. After the process is complete, they send the application to the US consulate in the country where the parent(s) reside.
Green Card Interview
The parent(s) will have to appear for the green card interview with the relevant document. Where they ask them questions to verify the genuineness of the application. If the parent(s) clear the interview, the USCIS will grant the IR-5 parent visa, and they can immigrate to the U.S.
The IR-5 parent visa application can take anywhere from 12 to 18 months. The process isn’t as straightforward as it sounds. Your parents will be required to submit relevant supporting documents to prove their relationship with you. If the U.S. consulate suspects anything wrong about the application or the intent, the application will straightaway be refused. You need to make sure that your application is strong with all the right supporting documents as evidence. Once that’s done, you can get your parents a visa and have them live with you in the U.S.