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US Family Visas for Australian Citizens

Australian citizens who wish to join a family member residing in the US and stay for more than 90 days must obtain a US Family visa. The specific Family visa type you must apply for will depend on your relationship with a US-based family member.

Talk with one of our friendly immigration lawyers at Total Law for more insights regarding US Family visas for Australian citizens, their types, requirements, how to apply or other services we offer. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.

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    Overview of US Family Visas

    Australian citizens are among the countries who are granted visa waivers to enter the US and stay for 90 days. However, as an Australian citizen, if you want to enter the US and join a family member who is a US citizen or permanent resident (Green Card holder) and stay for more than 90 days, you need to get a US Family visa.

    Additionally, non-Australian citizens residing in Australia whose home countries are not granted visa waiver in the US must obtain a US Family visa to join their family member who resides in the US. This category of residents in Australia must obtain a US Family visa that best suits their situation regardless of how long they intend to stay in the country.

    The individuals who can join a US-based family member on a US Family visa are spouses, children, siblings and parents. Note that there are both Non-immigrant and Immigrant US Family visas. The Non-immigrant Family (K1, K2, K3, and K4) visas do not allow the holder to stay in the United States permanently.

    Whereas the Immigrant Family (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4) visas allow its holder to remain in the US permanently. You are required to meet the eligibility requirements of these visas before you obtain them. Besides that, your relationship with the US-based family member who would sponsor you will determine the specific US Family visa you must obtain.

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    Types of Family Visas

    If you want to join your US-based family member in the US, there are several Family visa types you can choose from. Some of the US Family visas include:

    K1 Visa

    The K1 visa, otherwise known as the Fiance visa is a non-immigrant visa that permits a foreign national engaged (fiancé or fiancée) to a citizen of the United States to enter the country for marriage and eventually obtain a marriage Green Card. The foreign national and the US citizen sponsor must get married within 90 days of entering the US.

    Thereafter the foreign national must apply to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), for adjustment of status to that of a lawful permanent resident (LPR).

    Requirements for the K1 Visa

    Foreign nationals applying for a K1 visa must meet the following requirements:

    • Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant visa application form). Complete the form, print its confirmation page and bring it to the visa interview.
    • Two passport-sized photographs that meet the USCIS visa photo requirements.
    • A valid passport with a minimum of 6 months validity beyond your intended stay in the US.
    • Proof of financial support. To prove this, you are required to present Form I-134.
    • Divorce or death certificate of your previous spouse and those of your US spouse.
    • Birth certificate.
    • Medical examination certificate, gotten from a doctor authorised by the US authorities.
    • Police certificates from your present country of residence and from any other country where you’ve lived for up to 6 months or more since you turned 16 years old. It must prove that you have not been convicted of any crime while in your country of residence.
    • Proof of payment of fees.
    • Proof of relationship with your US-based fiancé, such as phone bills, correspondence/emails, photos, etc.

    K2 Visa

    The K2 visa is a non-immigrant visa designed for unmarried children of K1 visa holders; it could also be a part of the K1 visa process. These unmarried children must be under 21 years of age and the K2 visa permits them to enter the US and stay with their parents. This visa will also allow them to study and even work when they obtain a work permit.

    Keep in mind that the K2 visa is always linked to the K1 visa. To obtain both K1 and K2 visas in one application, the US-based sponsor must therefore file Form I-129F, otherwise known as the Petition for Alien Fiancé(e).

    Requirements of K2 Visa

    Unmarried children of K1 visa holders must meet some requirements to obtain a K2 visa to join them in the US. They include:

    • A filled out Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant visa application form).
    • Two passport-sized photographs that meet the required standard of visa photos as set by the USCIS.
    • A valid passport.
    • Proof that parents can financially support themselves and the K2 visa applicant.
    • Affidavit of support and other relevant supporting documents. To prove this, you are required to present Form I-134.
    • Birth certificate received from the birth registry.
    • Police certificate from the country where the applicant lives.
    • Evidence of relationship with the sponsoring US-based parent.
    • Bank draft for visa fees.
    • Medical examination certificate.

    F1 Visa

    The F1 visa, otherwise known as the Family First Preference visa is a Green Card granted to unmarried children (sons and daughters) of US citizens (not permanent residents). The children of US citizens must be 21 years old or older. About 23,400 F1 visas are issued by the US authorities in a fiscal year.

    This visa can also be used to bring adopted children, stepchildren and children born out of wedlock to come and stay with a US-based parent. The child must have been adopted before turning 16 years old, and for a stepchild, both parents must have been in an authentic relationship before the child turned 18 years old.

    Requirements for F1 Visa

    Australian residents who want to join a US-based citizen willing to bring them into the US must meet some requirements to obtain the F1 visa. They include:

    • A completed Form I-130.
    • Two passport-sized photographs that conform with the requirements of the US visa application photos.
    • Evidence of family relationship with the F1 visa applicant.
    • Certificate of clean criminal record of the adult child.
    • A valid passport.
    • Proof of financial support.
    • Parent-child relationship document, if the child was born out of wedlock.
    • Birth certificate, proof of abandonment, divorce or death of parents, if the child was adopted.
    • Court ruling that the child has been under a parent’s custody for 2 years (for a stepchild).

    F2 Visa

    The F2 visa is one of the US Family visas for Australians that allows spouses, adult and minor children of US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) to join them in the US. The F2 visa is capped just like the F1 visa. About 114,200 F2 visas are issued to applicants each fiscal year.

    This visa is typically known as the Second Preference Family visa, and it is of two types, namely:

    • The F2A visa is designed for LPRs’ spouses and minor children. This visa is typically capped at 79,940 per year (equivalent to 70% of the F2 visas).
    • The F2B visa is designed for LPRs’ adult children who are more than 21 years old. The F2B visa is capped at 34,260 per year, and this is almost 30% of the F2 visas issued.

    F2A Visa

    The F2A visa is a type of US Immigrant visa designed for minor children or spouses (family members) of US Green Card holders. With this visa, Australian citizens can join Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) in the US permanently.

    There is a lengthy wait time for the F2A visa because it is capped and in high demand. However, upon getting the visa, the LPRs’ family members will be granted permanent residency in the US, enabling them to live, work, and pursue their educational careers there.

    Requirements for F2A Visa

    Australian spouses and minor children seeking the F2A visa must meet some requirements. They include:

    • Present your international passport which must be valid for more than 6 months after entering the US.
    • Get your two passport-sized photographs that conform to the guidelines of the US visa photos.
    • Provide the confirmation page of Form DS-260 (Immigrant visa application form).
    • Get a signed Affidavit of Support (Form-I-864) from the US-based petitioner or LPR.
    • Provide your medical examination certificate, received from a doctor authorised by the US authorities.
    • Present a divorce or death certificate to prove that your marriage was officially terminated, if you were previously married.
    • Provide a birth or adoption certificate, if you are a US LPR’s child.
    • Get your marriage certificate to prove that you are the spouse of the LPR.
    • Bring your criminal record certificate to prove that you have not committed any crime that may have caused you to seek entry into the US.
    • Get your military records, if you served in the military.

    F2B Visa

    The F2B visa is designed for unmarried adult children or spouses of a US Green Card holder. To qualify as an adult child for this visa you must be unmarried, above 21 years old, and born to or adopted by a US permanent resident.

    However, if you are married or cannot provide documents as evidence that your parents reside in the US, you may not be eligible for the F2B visa. With this visa, Australian spouses and adult children can reunite with their family members who are based in the US. Besides that, they can live, study, and work in the US lawfully and permanently.

    Requirements for F2B Visa

    Unmarried adult children and spouses of US-based family members who want to obtain the F2B visa must meet the following requirements. They include:

    • Bring your international passport, which should be valid beyond 6 months of entering the US.
    • Provide your two passport-sized photographs that meet the requirements of the US visa photos.
    • Provide a signed Affidavit of Support (Form-I-864) from the US-based petitioner or LPR.
    • Present the confirmation page of Form DS-260.
    • Bring your medical examination certificate which you obtained from a doctor authorised by the US authorities.
    • Present your military records (for applicants who served in the military).
    • Get your birth or adoption certificate, if you are a US LPR’s child.
    • Bring a divorce or death certificate to show that your marriage was officially terminated, if you were previously married.
    • Present your criminal record certificate to prove that you do not have any crime charges against you that may have caused you to leave your country.

    All documents in any language other than English must be translated into English by an authorised translator and duly notarised. Note that the above-mentioned requirements for both the non-immigrant and immigrant US Family visas are not all-encompassing.

    That being said, you may be required to provide additional documents to support your application. This is why we recommend you reach out to our immigration lawyers at Total Law for expert guidance in gathering all the required documents for specific US Family visa types. Call us today on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online for a quick response.

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      Family Visa Application Process

      Overview

      Australian residents applying for US Family visas, such as the K1, K2, F1, F2A, and F2B to join their US-based family members must follow a step-by-step guide. Note that the steps you must take may differ depending on the specific US Family visa type you are applying for.

      Generally, the application process typically starts with the US-based sponsor or LPR who must file a petition to the USCIS. The steps to apply include the following:

      Step 1. Filing of Petition Form I-129F or Form I-130

      The type of form your US-based LPR (sponsor) will file depends on the type of US Family visa that suits the relationship you have with them. Your US-based (sponsor) needs to file Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e) for K1 and K2 visas) or Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative for F1, F2A, and F2B visas)  to the Department of Homeland Security (as part of USCIS).

      The purpose of the petition is to confirm that they have an existing relationship with you. Your US-based sponsor must pay the cost for the petition as required by the USCIS. After the petition is processed by USCIS, the US-based sponsor will get a reply which could either be its approval or refusal.

      Should the petition be rejected, the LPR will be able to address any issues and resubmit with a reason provided. The documents will be forwarded to the National Visa Centre (NVC) for additional processing if the petition is granted.

      The petitioner and the applicant (spouse or child) will receive the approval documents from the NVC along with an invoice identification number, a case and instructions on what to do next. All the information regarding the fees to be paid and the methods for doing so will also be included in the documents.

      Step 2. Applying for the Visa

      You will be notified by the NVC when to kickstart your application process from Australia. You must then apply for any of the Australian citizens US Family visas that suits your situation. You must apply for the visa via the US Consulates in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney, whichever is closest to you.

      Step 3. File Form DS-160 or Form DS-260

      You must then file Form DS-160 (Non-immigrant visa application form) or Form DS-260 (Immigrant visa application form). You must therefore choose either of the application forms depending on whether you are seeking a K1 or K2 visa (for non-immigrant visas) or the F1, F2A, or F2B visa (for immigrant visas).

      You must file these forms online after providing your details including why you want to enter the US. After completing the form and submitting it, you will be issued a confirmation number page you must include in your documents file which you must submit to the NVC.

      Step 4. Take a Medical Examination

      Regardless of your age, if you are entering the US or intend to file for a US immigrant visa in the future, you must pass a medical examination performed by a licenced doctor. The doctor will check your health and draft a report. To fulfil that medical requirement, it is ideal to obtain the appropriate vaccinations recommended by the US authorities.

      Step 5. Gather Your Documents

      At this stage, you must bring all your required documents to support your application. You must prove to the NVC and the US Consulate in Australia that you truly deserve to be granted the visa as you are eligible having met all the requirements.

      Step 6. Attend Visa Interview

      After the NVC has assessed your documents and is sure that you meet all requirements, you will be scheduled for a visa interview at the US Consulate. You need to attend the interview at the specific US Consulate from which you are applying. You will be asked personal questions to know whether you qualify for the visa.

      Step 7. Get the NVC Packet

      Should your visa be approved by the US embassy, you will be on your way to the US soonest, possibly, permanently depending on the visa type. You will be issued a sealed packet which must only be opened by the US immigration officials when you enter the US.

      How Can Our Lawyers at Total Law Help You?

      The application process for US Family visas is overwhelming as these Family visas are designed for various categories of people. These visas also cut across whether the applicants intend to stay temporarily or permanently in the US.

      This is why it’s best to involve our expert immigration lawyers at Total Law to help you choose the US Family visa type that best suits your situation. We can also help you to gather all the required documents and apply for the visa on your behalf.

      For more information about US Family immigration for Australians, how to start the process or other services we offer, call us today at Total Law on +1 844 290 6312 or message us online.

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                Related pages for your continued reading.

                Frequently Asked Questions

                Yes, Australian citizens can move to the US permanently, provided they meet all the requirements.

                Australian citizens can enter the US with their passports and stay for up to 90 days. Ensure you leave the US before or after your stay expires.

                Yes, you must complete a separate DS-160 for your wife as each family member must fill out the form.