Aiming to bring your family with you in the U.S? Family Preference Immigrant Visas is a U.S immigrant type of visa that helps you achieve your goal. You can get these type of visa for your direct family members only and it is processed by a direct family member who is already a U.S citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR). Extended families such as grandparents, cousins, aunts and uncles are not qualified for this type of visa. They are exclusive for the spouse, parents, siblings or children.

You can distinguish the Family Preference Immigrant Visa because, it has an F prefix and it is classified into four types:

  1. F-1 visa is for the unmarried sons and daughters along with their minor children
  2. F-2 visa is for the minor children or adult children and spouse
  3. F-3 visa is for the married children along with their spouses and with their minor children
  4. F-4 visa is for the siblings who are at least 21 years old and along with their spouses and minor children

Every type of visa has a limited number slots given each year. The U.S determines the cap of visa per year and is given in chronological order. Families will have to wait for their date to be current. Your visa will be processed in the next periods if you application exceeds the number of slots given each year. They will send you a notification when your application is now being processed.

This next topics will help you understand more about F-3 visa, what are the requirements needed to submit, the application process and other appropriate details.

About F-3 Visa

The F-3 visa is mainly for the direct families of a certified U.S citizen who lives in a foreign country. Qualifications are strict, this only for the spouse, minor children who are unmarried and are under 21 years old.

F-3 visa is only given 23,400 people each year, if the limit is reached within a year then other visas will be given in a chronological order.

If your F-3 visa is approved, the qualified personnel’s can now legally work without a need for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD), study, travel and live in the U.S with only needing a Social Security Number.

Requirements for F-3 Visa

These are the following requirements to apply for an F-3 Visa, strict compliance is a must:

  1. One must have a direct family member who is a U.S citizen and can prove it through supported documents such as birth certificates and adoption papers
  2. One must be married and can prove it through a legal marriage certificate
  3. One must be over 21 years old

As for the U.S citizen who wants to bring their adult child in the U.S permanently, you must comply the following:

  1. One must be a U.S citizen and has a verified address
  2. One must have an adult child in a foreign country and can prove it through birth certificates or adoption documents

Application

F-3 visa is intricate and you need to follow all the necessary steps to avoid being denied. It is began by the U.S citizen who petitions to the U.S authorities to grant permission to have their adult children, spouse and minor children to come to the U.S and live with them. Once the petition is approved the family who they petitioned for will start the application process. The U.S Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) must first approve your application before proceeding the application. If the USCIS denies your application then you are not eligible for this type of visa.

The application is divided into two parts:

  1. The U.S citizen must first petition for their adult child, spouse and minor children
  2. If your petition is approved by the USCIS, your family will then proceed with the application to a U.S Embassy or Consulate that are available in their home country.

Petition Filing

The U.S citizen must have a complete file of form I-130, it is a Petition for Alien Relative to USCIS. The file then goes through the U.S Department of Homeland Security where the processing takes place. The U.S citizen must make sure that their qualified spouse, minor children and adult child will be listed on the petition to make sure that the whole family is eligible and get the F-3 visa and can go to the U.S.

The USCIS processes your petition and they will respond depending on their workload maybe within few months. The USCIS will give you the reasons for denial, only when your application is denied, so that the U.S citizen who petitioned will have time to comply the requirements and adjust their petition and file it again. If your petition is approved by the USCIS all of the supporting documents will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).

The NVC will send you a package that contains all the necessary documents as well as instructions to the applicants in the foreign country. The documents inside the package will be used to apply for the actual visa at the U.S Embassy together with the corresponding fees. It contains your case number and it includes your invoice ID number.

The only downside of this particular visa the F-3 is that they only give a limited number of slots each year. Even if your visa is approved but your priority date is not current, you cannot start the application process. Chances are that many applications are being processed before you which surpasses the limit of the F-3 visas. Families will have to wait for their turn. The NVC will send you a notification if your date is current and you can now start the two application process.

Applying for an F-2A visa

You can now open the package that you received from them and use the instructions and documents to initiate your application process of the F-3 visa. Each individual that you listed in the petition such as your spouse as well as your minor children must submit a visa application. This could only be done after the NVC sends you a notification that your date has become current. The application takes place at the U.S Embassy or Consulate available in your country.

File Form DS-260

Immigrant Visa Electronic Application or Form DS-260 is the form that is necessary to comply by the applicant. Each of your members that you listed in the petition such as yourself, your spouse, and your children must submit a DS-260 form. The application process can be completed through online and should contain the complete background information and also state the reason why you want to go to the U.S. In that package that they gave you contains the NVC case number in order for you to gain access to your DS-260 form. You will get a confirmation page and number as soon as you completed filing the form and you must then send all your documents it to the NVC and store it as a part of your documents file.

Medical examination and vaccination

One important thing is that you must have a complete medical examination and vaccination when applying for any types of USA visa available. The NVC will give you a complete series of medical examinations as well as the vaccines. Each individual that you petitioned for are required to complete the lists that the NVC gave. All medical documents must have a signature of a licensed doctor. Once you completed the list you can now submit to it to the NVC as part of your documents file.

Compiling documents

Your documents file must contain all the required papers which supports your case. You must convince the NVC and U.S Embassy or Consulate that you and your family accomplish all the requirements needed and are eligible to get the F-3 visa. The file must contain the following:

By now, your documents file must contain all the required papers. This is your chance to convince the NVC and U.S Embassy or Consulate that you and your family completed all the requirements and are eligible to get the F-3 visa. These are the following documents that contains in your file:

  1. More than 6 months passport after your planned entry into the U.S including your spouse’s, and minor children’s
  2. Form DS-260
  3. Signed Form I-864
  4. Valid birth certificates or adoption documents of your children
  5. Medical examination and vaccination documents signed by a licensed physician
  6. Each individual must have two photographs each
  7. If married, valid marriage certificate to prove your marriage
  8. Court and criminal records and/or police certificate
  9. You must bring divorce or certificates of death to prove the marriage was officially terminated, if you are divorced
  10. You must bring your military records, if you served in the military

Attending the interview

If you convinced the NVC that you are eligible for this type of visa and can support it through all the necessary documents, the NVC will book an appointment for you for an interview with the U.S Embassy or Consulate available in your country. Each individual that you petitioned for must attend the interview, no exceptions. The U.S Embassy simply asks you about your background and your reasons. The U.S Embassy will then decide whether you are eligible to get the F-3 visa.

Receive NVC package and travel to the U.S.

If your visa is successfully approved and you and your family claims the F-3 visa, it will be stamped on your passports by the U.S Embassy. You will also receive a package that you must bring with you when you travel to the U.S and enter for the first time with your immigrant visas. You are not allowed to open the packet, only the immigration officials at the U.S port of entry are allowed to open it and decide whether you are qualified to enter the U.S or not.

Once your visa is approved by the U.S Embassy they will stamp your passport and you and your family can finally claim the F-3 visa. They will also send you a package that you must carry along with you when you travel to the U.S. By under any circumstances you are not allowed to open the package, only an Immigration official at the U.S port of entry are allowed to open the package and decide if you can enter the state or not.

F-3 Visa fees

There are numerous fees that the petitioner and the applicant must pay throughout the application process for the F-3 visa. The amounts vary and are set only by USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security and the individual U.S Embassy or Consulate where you are applying. These are the following fees that must be paid:

Throughout the application process the petitioner and the applicant must pay all the necessary fees for their F-3 visa to be processed. The amounts are determined only by the USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security and the individual U.S Embassy or Consulate where you applied. These are following feed that needed to be paid:

  1. Filing the Form I-130
  2. Form DS-260 processing fee
  3. Medical examination including vaccination fees
  4. Translating all the supporting documents
  5. After you receive your visa and before you travel in the U.S

Processing Time

Family green cards has a cut-off per year so the processing time may take an extended time. Some can range up from 1 year or up to 10 years. This is because many people are applying for this type of visa and cannot managed all at once.