What is the IR2 Visa?
The IR2 Visa is part of the IR category which stands for “Immediate Relative”.
It is a type of Family-Based Visa or green card for minors under 21 years of age who are children of citizens of the United States.
The IR2 Visa allows children of US citizens to receive their education in the United States and enjoy the benefits of residency in the United States.
Children who receive an IR2 Visa will be able to enter into employment without requiring an Employment Authorization Document in the future.
This immigration process is intended to promote family unification by reuniting family members in the United States.
Eligibility Requirements for the IR2 Visa
To be eligible for an IR2 Visa, the applicant must be under 21-years of age and be the child of a citizen of the United States.
Often applicants have questions about eligibility regarding remarried parents or adoption.
There are a variety of situations in which applicants can become eligible for the IR2 visa.
The applicant must fit under the following descriptions:
- Natural-born child to married parents (at least one of the parents must be a U.S. citizen)
- The parents must have had legal custody of the child abroad for a minimum time period of two years
- Natural-born child to unmarried parents (if the father is the U.S. sponsor, he must undergo a blood test to prove his paternity)
- Stepchild who was under the age of 18 when their parents got married
- Adopted child who was under the age of 18 at the time of the adoption. In most cases the adoptive child must have lived with their adoptive U.S. citizen/parent for at least two years
How to Apply For An IR2 Visa
To receive an IR2 visa, there are two main processes that need to be completed.
The sponsor needs to file a petition and the applicant needs to file the application (or have someone officially file it on their behalf.)
The Petition Process
The first step in the IR2 Visa process is for the United States citizen/ parent to complete a petition for their child and send it to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There are several steps in this process:
- US citizen sponsor completes the petition form and sends it to the USCIS
- The Department of Homeland Security processes the petition
- If the petition is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) will send a package of information with further instructions to the applicant
The Application Process
- Applicant completes form DS-260 with assistance if applicant is a minor
- Applicant obtains necessary medical examinations and vaccinations
- Required documents are gathered and translated if necessary.
- Applicant attends their visa interview at a U.S. embassy in their home country
- Fees are paid
- If approved, applicant then travels to the U.S.
If the petition is approved, the child then receives the package from the National Visa Center and begins their IR2 Visa application process.
They can begin as soon as they receive the package with instructions from the NVC following a successful petition.
There is no annual cap or limit on this type of visa application.
This means that the foreign citizen doesn’t need to wait for their application date to become current before beginning the application process.
The form that all applicants for United States immigrant visas must submit is Form DS-260.
This form will ask questions related to the applicant’s background and the purpose for their intent for coming to the United States.
Once the application is completed, a confirmation sheet will be sent. It is required that you print this page out and include it with the documents to be sent to the NVC.
Medical Exam and Vaccinations
The applicant who will immigrate to the United States must complete a thorough medical examination and receive the required vaccinations prior to immigration.
The specific vaccinations that the applicant will need to receive will be stated in the packet that they will receive from the NVC after the petition is approved.
The applicant must supply a signed document from their doctor confirming the specific medical examinations and vaccinations they have received.
The applicant will need to submit a number of required documents to the NVC in order to receive the IR2 Visa. Document requirements include but are not limited to:
- Signed Form I-864 Affidavit of Support by the US sponsor
- Confirmation page of Form DS-260
- A valid passport with an expiration six months or more after the applicant will entire the United States
- Proof of medical examinations and vaccinations signed by the applicant’s doctor or medical professional
- Criminal Records
- Two standard passport photographs
- Translation for any documents which are not in English by an officially accredited translator
Applicants may need to provide further documentation depending on their unique situation.
All required documents must be collected and sent to the NVC who will determine whether the applicant has provided sufficient proof to go on to the next stage of the process.
If the documents are approved by the NVC then the applicant will be scheduled for an immigration visa interview.
The Interview Process
The final step prior to IR2 visa approval is the immigration interview where the child will be required to attend an interview at the United States embassy or consulate in the city or country they live in.
Your child will be asked questions about their relationship to you, in order to verify that their visa application is genuine.
The applicant will locate the US embassy or consulate in their country of residence to attend their IR2 visa interview.
The applicant who will be a minor is required to be accompanied by an adult caretaker for the interview.
Questions will be asked by an immigration official pertaining to the information that was provided in the application and petition.
If the visa interview is accepted, the applicant will be given a sealed packet, the applicant’s passport will be stamped with the IR2 visa and the applicant will be able to then travel freely to the United States.
The applicant must bring the sealed packet to the United States without opening it and deliver it to a United States immigration official.
Upon opening the packet they will ultimately determine whether or not the applicant can enter the US.
How Long Is The Processing Time For An IR2 visa?
The IR2 Visa is a type of family visa/ green card that is without any yearly limits or caps on the number of people who can receive approval.
This means that the waiting times for this visa are far less than other types of visa.
Typically, you can expect an IR2 Visa application to be processed within a time period of anywhere from 3 to 12 months.
However, the processing times vary depending on the individual case.
Processing time can be sped up by submitting all the requested documentation promptly and completely
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The IR2 Visa holder will have access to healthcare in the United States. The cost of medical care in the United States can be extremely expensive so it is advisable to pick a health insurance plan in advance which will cover all of your expected needs.
There are a number of fees associated with applying for an IR2 visa. These can vary depending on the applicant’s individual situation.
Below is a list of common fees.
- $535 Form I-130 – Petition for Alien Relatives
- $325 Form DS-260 for IR2 Visa Application
- Medical examinations and vaccinations fees
- USCIS Immigrant fee, which must be paid after the visa is approved but before the applicant will travel to the U.S.
- Fees paid to third parties to obtain necessary documents
- Fees for the translation of documents if applicable
Applicants who enter the United States with an IR-2 visa have the opportunity to become U.S citizens immediately upon entering the country.
If the applicant who has an IR-2 visa is under 18 years of age, then they will get U.S citizenship immediately when they enter the country and state that they will live in the U.S with their parents.
Applicants who are over 18 years of age will become permanent residents and receive their IR-2 Green Cards, and then can apply for citizenship when they become eligible.
While some people utilize the services of lawyers throughout this process, you can obtain an IR2 Visa without consulting or hiring an immigration lawyer.
In the event that you are not using a lawyer to assist you with this process, you will want to become knowledgeable about all steps for both the sponsor and applicant, as well as fully review any documentation that is required.
Any missing information or documents can lead to your application being delayed or rejected.
There are also premium services you can employ who will assist you with gathering and submitting documentation and paperwork.
Keeping informed on the process will ensure that it goes smoothly and is completed successfully without unnecessary delays.
For immigration advice and support, contact Total Law for assistance with your application.
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