What is an IR-2 visa?
An IR-2 visa is a specific type of immigrant visa issued by the U.S. government for the purpose of allowing foreign-born children of U.S. citizens to immigrate to the United States. The IR-2 visa falls under the “Immediate Relative” category of family-sponsored visas and is designed to facilitate the legal immigration of children under a particular set of circumstances.
Here are the key points to understand about the IR-2 visa:
- An IR-2 visa is intended for foreign-born children who are under the age of 21 and are unmarried.
- The child must have a U.S. citizen parent who meets the requirements for sponsoring immediate relatives. This typically involves proving the U.S. citizenship of the parent and demonstrating the parent-child relationship.
- Sponsorship and Petition:
- The U.S. citizen parent (sponsor) must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their foreign-born child.
- The I-130 petition serves as the basis for establishing the parent-child relationship and demonstrating the eligibility for an IR-2 visa.
- Once the I-130 petition is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the case is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
- The NVC coordinates visa processing and collects necessary fees and documents.
- Visa Application and Interview:
- The foreign-born child will need to apply for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
- A visa interview is typically required to verify the authenticity of the parent-child relationship and determine the child’s eligibility for the IR-2 visa.
- Entry and Legal Permanent Residency:
- Once the IR-2 visa is approved, the child can enter the United States as an immigrant.
- Upon arrival, the child becomes a legal permanent resident (green card holder) and can enjoy the benefits and rights associated with that status.
- Adjustment of Status (If Already in the U.S.):
- In some cases, if the child is already in the U.S. in a legal non-immigrant status, they may be able to apply for adjustment of status to become a green card holder without having to travel abroad for visa processing.
It’s important to note that the IR-2 visa process involves specific requirements and documentation to prove the parent-child relationship and eligibility. The details of the process can vary depending on individual circumstances and changes in immigration policies.
How to apply for an IR-2 visa?
Applying for an IR-2 visa involves several steps, including petitioning for the visa, submitting required documentation, attending an interview, and completing the visa issuance process. Here’s a general overview of the steps you would typically follow to apply for an IR-2 visa:
- Sponsorship and Petition (Form I-130):
- A U.S. citizen parent (sponsor) must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the foreign-born child. This form establishes the parent-child relationship and demonstrates the child’s eligibility for the IR-2 visa.
- Complete the I-130 form accurately, providing all required information and documentation.
- Form I-130 Approval:
- Once USCIS approves the I-130 petition, you will receive an approval notice.
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing:
- The approved I-130 petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will process your case and provide instructions for the next steps.
- You will need to pay required fees and submit supporting documents to the NVC, including a copy of the approved I-130, civil documents (such as birth certificates), and financial sponsorship information.
- Choice of Consular Processing or Adjustment of Status (If Eligible):
- Depending on the circumstances, you may choose to process the visa application at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad or, if the child is already in the U.S., apply for adjustment of status through Form I-485.
- Consular Processing (Visa Application at U.S. Embassy or Consulate):
- If you choose consular processing, you will receive instructions from the NVC on scheduling a visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country.
- Attend the visa interview with the required documentation, including the visa appointment letter, valid passport, medical examination results, and financial support evidence.
- The consular officer will determine the child’s eligibility for the IR-2 visa based on the interview and documents provided.
- Adjustment of Status (If Applying in the U.S.):
- If the child is already in the U.S. in a legal non-immigrant status and eligible to adjust status, you can file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, to become a green card holder without having to travel abroad.
- Immigrant Visa Issuance or Adjustment of Status:
- If the visa application is approved, the child will receive an immigrant visa (IR-2) that allows entry into the U.S. as a legal permanent resident.
- If the child adjusted status within the U.S., they will receive a green card.
- Entry into the U.S.:
- Upon entry, the child becomes a legal permanent resident (green card holder) and can enjoy the rights and privileges of that status.
Keep in mind that the process can vary depending on individual circumstances, changes in immigration policies, and specific requirements of the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview is conducted. It’s recommended to consult the official U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website or seek guidance from an experienced immigration attorney for the most accurate and up-to-date information related to applying for an IR-2 visa.
IR-2 visa filing fees
The filing fees for the IR-2 visa application can vary based on factors such as the specific visa processing location (U.S. embassy or consulate) and the services provided by the U.S. government. It’s important to note that these fees are subject to change, so it’s highly recommended to check the official U.S. Department of State website or the website of the specific U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for the most up-to-date fee information.
Please be sure to verify the current fees before submitting your application.
As of that time, the filing fees for an IR-2 visa application could include the following:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee:
- The fee for filing Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, which establishes the parent-child relationship and initiates the visa process.
- National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Fee:
- Once the I-130 petition is approved, the NVC processing fee is required. This fee covers various services related to visa processing.
- Consular Processing Fee:
- The fee for processing the immigrant visa application at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
- Medical Examination and Other Costs:
- The cost of a medical examination, which is typically required for immigrant visa applicants.
- Other costs may include obtaining required documents, passport photos, and any additional documentation requested by the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Biometrics Fee (If Applicable):
- If the child is in the U.S. and applying for adjustment of status through Form I-485, there may be a biometrics fee for fingerprinting.
It’s important to carefully review the fee instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply, as well as the guidance on the official U.S. Department of State website. Additionally, consider consulting with an experienced immigration attorney or seeking assistance from a reputable immigration consultant to ensure that you have accurate and current fee information and to guide you through the application process.