This article will look at the IR2 visa, what it is, its requirements, the application process, and other relevant details.
What is the IR2 visa?
The IR2 visa is a US immediate relative visa for unmarried children under the age of 21 of a US citizen. It may also be granted if the child is subject to the Child Status Protection Act and is treated as if they were under 21.
The advantage of obtaining an IR2 visa for your child is that he or she can live in the United States, attend school, and continue their education. Eventually, the child will have a Green Card and will be able to work in the future without the need for an Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
The advantage of the IR2 visa and all immediate family immigrant visas in general over family preference immigrant visas is that they do not have an annual limit. So, if applicants fulfill the conditions and requirements of the visa, they can get the IR2 visa.
Who can apply for the IR2 visa?
The criteria for the IR2 visa are not as extensive as those for other types of visas. The child of the US citizen must be:
- Under 21 years old.
- Not married.
- Living in a foreign country.
- Has lived with adoptive US citizen parents for at least 2 years.
In addition to the criteria for the child who will apply for the IR2 visa, the US citizen must meet these criteria:
- Consent to adopt an unmarried minor under the age of 21 from a foreign country.
- Be a US citizen.
- They adopted the child from a foreign country and lived with them for 2 years.
How to apply for the IR2 visa?
The procedures for applying for an IR2 visa are comparable to those for other family-based visas. It has two main parts:
- The US citizen files a petition for the child with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
- Once the petition is approved, the child must contact the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country
- This shows that the application process must begin in the United States, with the US citizen submitting a petition to the authorities.
Presentation of the petition
The petition can be filed by completing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives. The petition must be filled out in its entirety by the US citizen and submitted to USCIS. The US citizen must additionally pay a fee in order for the petition to be processed.
The petition will then go through the Department of Homeland Security and be reviewed within a few months. The US citizen will be notified of the status once processing is complete. USCIS will notify you of the reasons behind any denial of your petition. The petition will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) if it is granted. Your primary point of contact for the IR2 visa will then be the NVC.
The applicant in a foreign nation will receive a package from the NVC containing instructions and information. Your invoice ID number and case number will also be included in the package. This number is used to initiate your application at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the foreign country.
IR2 visa application
Because immediate relative visas do not have a limit on the number issued each year, applicants do not have to wait for their priority dates to become current. The foreign applicant can start the application process at a U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as USCIS approves the petition. Since your child is a minor, someone may need to help with the application. There aren’t many requirements for the US citizen in this section of the application.
DS-260 file form
Form DS-260, Electronic Immigrant Visa Application is the form that all immigrant visa applicants must submit. The NVC case number, which connects the application to your case and the granted petition, can be used to access it. The IR2 visa applicant or someone helping him or her must fill out all the necessary sections, which will contain questions relating to the applicant’s information, background and purpose of immigration. When you submit Form DS-260, you will receive a confirmation page and number that you must attach to your supporting documents.
Complete medical examination and vaccination
Citizens and immigrants of the United States are required to meet specific medical and immunization requirements. Anyone wishing to immigrate to the United States must undergo the necessary medical checks and vaccinations. The CNV package that the applicant received after the petition was approved will specify which medical procedures the applicant must complete and the vaccines she must receive. Only a qualified doctor who signs them will be able to complete the documents and checks. These documents will be attached to your support file which you will then send to the NVC.
Compile document files
In addition to the application form, you must also attach various supporting documents to provide NVC with a better reason as to why you should be allowed to immigrate to the United States on an IR2 visa.
The IR2 visa file must contain the following required documents:
- 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 (petitioner’s parent)
- DS-260 form confirmation page
- Medical examination and vaccination documents
- Two photographs per individual per US visa photography requirements
- Judicial and criminal records and/or police certificate
- If you served in the military, you must bring your military documents with you
Attend the interview
Every applicant to immigrate to the United States must attend an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate where he or she applies. Before setting up the interview, the NVC will make sure you have sent in all required paperwork.
Since in this case, the applicant is a child, he may be accompanied by a guardian. The child will be asked questions about who she is and officials will determine whether the child can get the IR2 visa.
Get the NVC package and travel to the United States.
If your child’s IR2 visa is approved, they will be able to travel freely to the United States. The visa will be printed on the passport and the Embassy will give them a package that the child must bring to the United States upon first entering the country. You should not open this package under any circumstances. Only U.S. immigration officials at any U.S. entry point will open it and decide whether or not the applicant can enter the country.
Can I access American healthcare with an IR2 visa?
Yes, you will have access to healthcare in the United States as an IR2 visa holder, however, the costs of obtaining medical care in the United States are among the highest in the world.
Treating a broken leg or broken arm will cost you $2,500, while hospitalization in a US hospital can cost over $10,000 on average. You should choose the health insurance plan that is best for you, which is overall also affordable and covers your needs.
Other types of visas for immediate relatives
The IR visa category favors immediate relatives or family members of US citizens living outside the United States. and they are the following:
- IR1 visa for the spouse of a US citizen
- IR2 visa for unmarried children under age 21 of a US citizen
- IR3 visa for children adopted abroad by a US citizen
- IR4 visa for children adopted in the United States by a US citizen
- IR5 visa for parents of a US citizen who is at least 21 years old.
As you can see, next of kin are only spouses, biological or adopted children, and parents. Grandparents, uncles or aunts do not qualify as next of kin and therefore cannot obtain these visas.
What are the fees to pay for the IR2 visa?
There are various fees that the applicant and applicant must pay throughout the IR2 visa application process. 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 IR2 visa processing time?
Processing time may take 3 to 12 months, depending on individual circumstances. Since the IR2 visa has no annual limit, processing times are also much shorter than Family Preference visas.
Will I become a US citizen once I get the IR2 visa?
Children who enter the United States on an IR2 visa can immediately become U.S. citizens. If the child who has an IR2 visa is under the age of 18, he will obtain US citizenship immediately when he enters the United States and declares that he will live in the United States with his parents.
Those over 18 become permanent residents and are issued IR2 green cards and can apply for citizenship when eligible.