If you want your family to come in the U.S and give them the opportunity to study, travel and work, you can do so by applying for a Family Preference Immigrant visa. This USA visa can only be processed by U.S citizens or Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) in the United States. This is only applicable for direct families of the U.S citizen or LPR such as spouses, minor or adult children, parents or siblings. Extended families such as grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, and others may not be suitable to apply for this type of visa.
Family Preference Immigrant visa uses the prefix F to distinguish other visas. The F-2 visa is one type and it is classified into two types:
- F2A visa is for minor children and spouse
- F2B visa is for single or unmarried children that are over 21 years old
The Family Preference Immigrant visa has limited slots given per year, about 114,200 visas, this means that each category has a cut-off per year so it is inevitable that others will have to wait for their date to be current. The F-2 visa is classified into two groups:
- F2A visa processes 70% of the total number of visas that’s about 79,940 visas per year
- F2B visa processes 30% of the total number of visas that’s about 34,260 visas per year
The purpose of this article is mainly to give you guidance and understand about F2B visa, the requirements needed to submit, the application process and other relevant details.
About F2B Visa
The F2B visa is a USA visa that is exclusively issued to the spouse or minor children of U.S Lawful Permanent Residents. An unmarried adult child, who is over 21 years old must be a child of an LPR and has documents to support such as birth certificates or adoption papers. If one is married he/she must submit complete documents supporting that they are legally married.
The F2B visa can give you the opportunity to reunite with your family. It also gives your adult child to study and work in the U.S permanently and legally.
Requirements for the F2B visa
These are the requirements needed to apply for F2B visa:
- A child of a U.S Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and has documents to support
- Ages 21 years old and above
- Single or unmarried
As for the Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), you must fulfill the following criteria:
- You must be the parent of the person you will petition for and can support it through the required documents such as birth certificates etc.
- You must be a certified U.S LPR and living in the U.S with a confirmed address
How to Apply for the F2B visa?
There are two ways on how to apply for an F2B visa:
- First, the U.S LPR petitions for their adult child to U.S Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Second, when the petition is approved, the adult child must apply to a U.S Embassy or Consulate in their home country
If your petition is denied, the USCIS will not start the process. It is important that the USCIS must first approve your application.
The Process of Filing for the Petition
Form I-130 must be filed by the U.S citizen or LPR. The petition goes straight to the Department of Homeland Security as part of USCIS once it is paid.
After the payment is confirmed the USCIS then starts to process the petition and sends its answer to the LPR. If the petition is denied, they will state the reasons for the denial. This gives the LPR time to adjust and apply for a petition again. If the petition is approved, the LPR will then be notified and USCIS will send the documents to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
After the USCIS approves your petition, the NVC will verify your request and sends a package to the applicant giving you instructions for the next step. The package contains important documents such as the case number and invoice ID number. The package has also corresponding fees needed to be paid to carry on the process.
In the last step of filing a petition, the applicant must wait for their day to be current due to cut-offs given each year, therefore, the applicant must wait until you are in line for the next batch of F2B visas. The NVC is responsible for sending you a notification if your date is current and you can now begin applying for the visa.
Applying for the F2B visa
After successfully filing the petition, the NVC will give in-depth instructions to make sure that your application is accepted by the U.S Embassy. The adult child must complete this part of the application process in the U.S Embassy or Consulate at your country of residence. The NVC then forwards the documents to your Embassy for verification.
File Form DS-260
The applicant must comply and submit Form DS-260 which is the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. You will fill in the data through online, they will thoroughly check you background information as well as your reason why you want to immigrate to the U.S. After filling in the sections you will then submit it to NVC and you will get a confirmation page and ID number and it will be stored in your documents file.
Medical examination and vaccination
Medical examination and vaccination are mandatory when applying for any type of visas. The NVC will provide you a list of check-ups and vaccines, it must be done by a licensed doctor and must have its signature in all the documents. A complete thorough examination is needed. After completing all the necessary medical documents you will then submit to the NVC.
These are some additional documents that you must send to the NVC to prove you qualify for an application of the F2B visa:
- More than 6 months valid passport after your planned entry into the U.S
- Affidavit of Support from the U.S petitioner or LPR (applicant’s parent), signed Form I-864
- Confirmation page of form DS-260
- Complete medical examination and vaccination documents together with the signature of a licensed doctor
- Two photographs each
- Valid birth certificate or adoption certificate
- If you have been previously married, you must bring divorce or certificates of death to prove the marriage was officially terminated
- If you served in the military, you must bring your military records
- Court and criminal records and/or police certificate
After you completed all the necessary documents and submitted it to the NVC for verification, you will then proceed for an interview. The NVC will book you an appointment for an interview at the U.S Embassy or Consulate available in your country of residence. You must go there as scheduled together with your adult child. Official personnel from the Embassy will be the one to interview you and determine whether you are eligible to get the F2B visa or not.
The U.S Embassy will stamp your passport once your visa is successfully approved and finally you can now legally immigrate to the U.S. The Embassy will give you a sealed packet that you must have to travel with and under any circumstances you must not open the packet. You will give it to certified personnel from the U.S immigration and he/she will be the one who opens the packet.
F2B visa Fees
The application process is nothing if you will not pay the required fees throughout the process for the F2B visa. This is set by USCIS only, the Department Homeland Security and the individual U.S Embassy or Consulate. The USCIS will not issue you a Green Card without you paying this fee. These are the following fees you need to pay:
- Form I-130 filing fee
- Processing fee for the Form DS-260
- Medical examination and vaccination fees
- Fees to get and translate all the supporting documents
- USCIS Immigrant Fee which you must pay after you receive your visa and before you travel to the U.S.
F2B Visa Processing Time
It will take a long time to complete the process of the F2B visa. There is no exact time and date on how long it would take. There are only limited slots available per year, some people could wait between 1 to 10 years. You just have to wait for your date to become current. The NVC will send you a notification once it is processed.
What if the LPR Got a U.S Citizenship While the F2B Visa Is Still Processing?
Upon waiting for the approval of the F2B visa, there is a possibility that the LPR or the parent might get approval of their U.S citizenship first. If this happens, the parent can file a petition for an Immediate Relative (IR) visa for the adult child in a foreign country. The benefit of this is that IR visas do not have a cut-off and they offer a faster processing time. The newly certified U.S citizen parent is allowed to submit a new petition for the IR visa.