What is an IR-2 visa?
An IR-2 visa is an immigrant visa category that is specifically designed for the unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens. This visa category allows these children to immigrate to the United States and become lawful permanent residents (green card holders). The IR-2 visa is part of the family-sponsored immigration system, which enables U.S. citizens to bring certain family members to the U.S. to live and work.
Here are some key points to understand about the IR-2 visa:
Eligibility: To be eligible for an IR-2 visa, the child must meet the following criteria:
- Be under the age of 21 and unmarried.
- Have a U.S. citizen parent (biological or adoptive) who can serve as the petitioner.
- The U.S. citizen parent must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the child.
Process: The process for obtaining an IR-2 visa involves several steps:
- The U.S. citizen parent files Form I-130 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to establish the parent-child relationship.
- If the I-130 petition is approved, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
- The U.S. citizen parent pays the necessary fees and submits supporting documents to the NVC.
- The child completes the online Form DS-260, the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
- The NVC schedules an immigrant visa interview for the child at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country.
- The child attends the visa interview, undergoes a medical examination, and submits required documents.
- If approved, the child receives an immigrant visa, which allows entry into the U.S.
- Upon entry to the U.S., the child becomes a lawful permanent resident and can apply for a green card.
Green Card Status: Upon entering the U.S. on an IR-2 immigrant visa and meeting the conditions of entry, the child will become a lawful permanent resident. This means they can live, work, and study in the U.S. without any time limitations. After holding this status for a certain period, the child may be eligible to apply for U.S. citizenship.
Important Note: It’s important to keep in mind that immigration laws and regulations can change, and each case is unique. To ensure accurate and up-to-date information, it’s highly recommended to consult official government sources or seek assistance from an experienced immigration attorney if you are considering applying for an IR-2 visa for your child.
How to Apply For an IR-2 Child Visa
Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to apply for an IR-2 child visa:
Step 1: Petition Filing:
- File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: The U.S. citizen parent needs to file Form I-130 with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the parent-child relationship and serves as the basis for the child’s visa application.
- Submit Supporting Documents: Along with Form I-130, you’ll need to provide supporting documents to prove the parent-child relationship, such as the child’s birth certificate, evidence of the U.S. citizen parent’s U.S. citizenship, and any other relevant documents.
Step 2: USCIS Processing:
After submitting Form I-130 and the required documents, USCIS will review the petition. If the petition is approved, USCIS will send a Notice of Approval (Form I-797) to the U.S. citizen parent.
Step 3: National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
- Receive Notice of Approval: The U.S. citizen parent will receive a Notice of Approval from USCIS.
- Pay Fees: The U.S. citizen parent needs to pay the appropriate fees to the National Visa Center (NVC), which include the Affidavit of Support fee and the immigrant visa application fee.
- Submit Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): The U.S. citizen parent must complete and submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to demonstrate financial ability to support the child.
- Submit Civil Documents: Provide the required civil documents, such as the child’s birth certificate, passport, police clearance, and any other documents as specified by the NVC.
- Submit Visa Application: Complete the online Form DS-260, the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website. You’ll need the NVC case number to access the form.
Step 4: Consular Processing:
- Interview Appointment: After submitting Form DS-260 and all required documents, the NVC will schedule an interview appointment for the child at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country.
- Medical Examination: The child will need to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
- Attend Visa Interview: The child and any accompanying parent or guardian will attend the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The child must bring all required documents, including the interview appointment letter, passport, photographs, and any requested evidence.
Step 5: Visa Issuance:
If the visa is approved, the child will receive an immigrant visa in their passport. They will also receive a sealed envelope containing documents to present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection upon entry to the U.S.
Step 6: Entry to the U.S. and Green Card Application:
Upon entering the U.S., the child will be inspected by Customs and Border Protection. The child will receive a stamp on their visa and will be granted conditional permanent residency. The U.S. citizen parent can then apply to remove the conditions and obtain a permanent green card for the child.
It’s important to follow the specific instructions provided by USCIS, the NVC, and the U.S. embassy or consulate. Immigration laws and procedures can change, so make sure to stay updated and consider seeking legal advice or assistance if needed.
What are the government fees that I need to pay for an IR-2 visa?
the U.S. government fees associated with obtaining an IR-2 visa, which is an immigrant visa for unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens, include the following:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee: The initial step in the process involves filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, which establishes the relationship between the U.S. citizen parent and the child. As of my last update, the filing fee for Form I-130 is $535.
- Affidavit of Support Fee (Form I-864): The U.S. citizen parent is required to submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to demonstrate financial ability to support the child as a green card holder. As of my last update, there is no separate fee for submitting Form I-864.
- Immigrant Visa Application Fee: This fee is payable to the National Visa Center (NVC) once your Form I-130 petition has been approved and your case is ready to move forward. As of my last update, the immigrant visa application fee for family-sponsored immigrants is $325.
- Medical Examination: While not a direct government fee, the cost of the required medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician is an expense to consider. The cost of the medical examination can vary based on the country and physician.
Please note that these fees are subject to change, and it’s important to verify the current fees on the official U.S. Department of State website or other official sources before you proceed with the application process. Additionally, depending on your individual circumstances, there may be other associated costs, such as fees for obtaining required documents, translations, and travel expenses for attending the visa interview.
When preparing to apply for an IR-2 visa, it’s advisable to consult the official U.S. government websites, such as the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, to ensure that you have the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding the fees and application process.
What are the common mistakes to avoid when applying for an IR-2 visa?
When applying for an IR-2 visa, it’s important to be thorough and accurate to avoid potential delays or complications in the application process. Here are some common mistakes to avoid:
- Incomplete or Inaccurate Forms: Ensure that all forms are fully completed, with accurate and consistent information. Any inconsistencies or errors can lead to delays or denials.
- Missing or Incorrect Documents: Make sure you provide all the required supporting documents and that they are in the correct format. Any missing or incorrect documents can result in processing delays.
- Not Meeting Eligibility Criteria: Ensure that the child meets the eligibility criteria for the IR-2 visa, including being under 21 and unmarried, and having a U.S. citizen parent. Failing to meet these criteria can lead to a visa denial.
- Not Providing Proof of Relationship: Submit proper documentation to establish the parent-child relationship, such as birth certificates, adoption documents, and proof of legal custody.
- Not Paying Fees on Time: Make sure to pay all required fees on time and keep proof of payment. Failure to pay fees can lead to delays or processing hold-ups.
- Not Following Instructions: Carefully read and follow the instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate regarding required documents, forms, and procedures. Failure to follow instructions can lead to application rejection.
- Ignoring Medical Examination: The child needs to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. Ignoring or delaying this step can lead to complications.
- Providing False Information: Providing false information, whether intentionally or unintentionally, can lead to visa denial and potential future immigration issues.
- Not Demonstrating Financial Support: If the U.S. citizen parent is sponsoring the child, ensure that the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) is properly completed and accompanied by the necessary financial documentation.
- Not Being Prepared for the Interview: If an interview is required, be well-prepared. Understand the purpose of the interview, review your application, and bring all required documents.
- Neglecting Communication: Keep track of communication from the U.S. embassy or consulate. Missing emails, notifications, or appointments can lead to complications.
- Not Seeking Legal Advice: If you’re unsure about any aspect of the application process, it’s a good idea to seek advice from an experienced immigration attorney. They can provide guidance tailored to your situation.
- Missing Deadlines: Adhere to all deadlines and appointments provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate. Missing deadlines can lead to processing delays or even the need to start the application process over.
Remember that immigration laws and procedures can change, so it’s essential to consult the official U.S. government resources, such as the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs, and consider seeking legal advice if you have concerns or questions about the application process.