Family Preference visas have the prefix F. There are many types and one is the F-2 visa. The F-2 visa is for spouses, minors, and adult children of lawful permanent residents. There are two categories of F-2 visas:
- F2A visa for spouses and minor children of LPR
- F2B visa for unmarried children over 21 years of age of LPR
- Family Preference visas are capped, so the number of visas issued in a year is limited. This means that each category gets a certain number of visas per year, while the others wait their turn.
The F-2 visa has 114,200 visas awarded per year. They are distributed between the two categories like this:
- The F2A visa gets at least 79,940 visas or 70% of the total number of visas
- The F2B visa gets 34,260 visas or less than 30% of the total
This article will look at the F2B visa, what it is, its requirements, the application process, and other relevant details.
What is F2B visa?
The F2B visa is a family preference visa issued to the spouse or minor unmarried children of US Green Card holders. An adult child is defined as a born or adopted child of an LPR who is over the age of 21 and is unmarried. If you are married or cannot prove that your parents are in the United States through documentation, you are not eligible for the F2B visa.
With the F2B visa, you can bring your family back together. It also permits your adult child to lawfully and permanently reside, study, and work in the United States.
What are the requirements for the F2B visa?
There aren’t many strict requirements to be eligible for an F2B visa. Below are the criteria for F2B visa applicant:
- You must be the child of a legal permanent resident of the United States and prove this through birth certificates or adoption documents
- You must be over 21 years old
- You must be celibate
- Regarding LPR, you must meet these criteria:
- You must be the parent of the person you are applying for and prove this through birth certificates or adoption documents
- You must be a US LPR
- You must live in the United States and have a verified address within the country
How to apply for an F2B visa?
The application for the F2B visa is completed in two parts:
Lawful Permanent Residents of the United States petition for their adult child to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
Once the petition is approved, the adult child must apply to the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country
The application process cannot begin until USCIS approves the LPR petition for your child. The adult child cannot simply apply through a U.S. Embassy without permission from USCIS and will not be considered.
Presentation of the petition:
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, must be submitted to USCIS by the US LPR. The petition is sent to USCIS’s Department of Homeland Security. The LPR is required to pay a fee, which is determined by USCIS.
USCIS then processes the petition and sends the response to the LPR. If they reject the application, they must also indicate the reason for the rejection. This means that the LPR can then amend their request and resubmit the petition. The LPR will be informed if the petition is granted, and the USCIS will forward the necessary paperwork to the National Visa Center (NVC) for additional processing.
After reviewing the case, the NVC will mail the applicant, an adult child, instructions on what to do next. It will contain the case number and invoice ID number, which the applicant will need to submit the application to the US Embassy. The packet will outline the remaining steps of the process and include forms and fee requirements.
To complete the second phase, the applicant must wait for the date to be updated. This is because there is a limit on F2B visas. If the cap for this year is reached, you will have to wait until you are in line for the next batch of F2B visas. When your date is effective, NVC will notify you and you can begin applying for your visa.
F2B visa application:
When your date becomes effective, you can follow the NVC instructions step by step to ensure your application is error-free and accepted by the US Embassy. Your adult child must finish this part of the application process at the American Embassy or Consulate in your home nation. NVC will forward the documents to the Embassy for their review as well.
DS-260 file form:
Form DS-260, Electronic Immigrant Visa Application is the form that all immigrant visa applicants must submit. The application is online and will review your personal or basic information and why you want to immigrate to the United States. Entering your NVC case number and invoice ID number will allow you to access it. Fill out the necessary sections and after submitting it, you will receive a confirmation page and number that you will need to send to NVC as part of your document file.
Complete medical examination and vaccination:
If you plan to immigrate to the United States, it is mandatory to undergo a medical examination and get the necessary vaccines. The NVC will send you a list of checks you need to undergo from a licensed doctor, as well as a list of vaccines you need. You must complete both and have the documents ready to submit to NVC.
Compile document files:
In addition to the application forms and medical documents, you also need to submit NVC supporting documents proving that you are eligible for the F2B visa. The document file must contain the following:
- Your passport is valid for more than 6 months after intended entry into the United States
- A signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support from the U.S. petitioner or the LPR (parent of the applicant)
- DS-260 form confirmation page
- Medical examination and vaccination documents
- Two photographs according to the photography requirements for a US visa.
- Your valid birth certificate or adoption certificate
- Judicial and criminal records and/or police certificate
If you have been previously married, you must bring your divorce or death certificates to show that the marriage has been officially dissolved
If you served in the military, you must bring your military documents with you
Attend the interview:
The interview is the last step before you can get the visa. Once the NVC processes all of your documents and determines that you meet the requirements, it will schedule your interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your country of residence. You have to go there on that date and at the right time. An Embassy official will interview you to determine whether you can get the F2B visa or not.
Get the NVC package and travel to the United States:
If your visa is approved, the US Embassy will print it on your passport and you can now immigrate to the United States. Furthermore, the Embassy will give you a sealed package, which you cannot open under any circumstances. The package needs to be brought with you to the United States and opened by an immigration officer there.
What are the fees for an F2B visa?
There are various fees that the applicant and applicant need to pay throughout the F2B visa application process. The Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, and the specific US embassy or consulate to which you are applying determine the fees, which can vary. The main categories of fees to be paid are the following:
- Form I-130 filing fee
- Processing fee for DS-260 form
- Expenses for medical visits and vaccinations
- Fees for obtaining and translating all supporting documents
USCIS immigrant fee that you must pay after receiving your visa and before traveling to the United States. USCIS will not issue you a green card without you paying this fee.
How long is the F2B visa processing time?
Unfortunately, there is no set time that can be used to determine how long it will take to process your F2B visa. Because the number of visas is limited, many people end up waiting 2 or more years, with extreme cases having waited 7 years. That’s why you just need to wait for your date to become current and then start the application process.
What if the applicant LPR obtains US citizenship while the F2B visa is being processed?
Because it takes so long for F2B visa dates to become current, the LPR or the applicant’s parent may obtain a US citizenship in the meantime. With US citizenship, the parent can then apply for an immediate relative (IR) visa for their adult child in a foreign country. The advantage is that IR visas do not have a maximum limit and have faster processing times. The parent may then have the option to submit a new application for the IR visa.