F2A Visa

If you are a legal permanent resident of the US with family abroad, it may be possible to move your spouse and children from the foreign country to join you in the United States.

For assistance with your application for the F2A visa, get in touch with us today by calling +1 844 290 6312 or submitting a message through our contact form.

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    What is the F2A Visa?

    The US government issues various visa types depending on the applicant’s personal circumstances, the reasoning behind their original move to the US, and their relationship with other US residents or citizens.

    An F2A visa is one of the many family preference visas that allow legal permanent residents to petition on behalf of their children and spouses. The F2A visa is part of the family immigration visas issued by the United States Citizen and Immigration Services (USCIS).

    Once an F2A Visa is obtained, the family members of the US Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs) become permanent US residents and are allowed to live, study and work in the US.

    The family immigration category for US visas is divided into two categories, which are family preference and immediate relative. The F2A Visa belongs in the family preference category.

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    Who is eligible for the F2A Visa?

    A foreign national hoping to move to the US permanently cannot apply for an F2A Visa directly. The F2A Visa is accessible to children and spouses of lawful permanent residents, and it is this US citizen who will need to apply on your behalf.

    If you are petitioning for an F2A Visa on behalf of your spouse or dependents, you must meet the following criteria:

    • You must be at least 18 years of age so that you can legally sign documents and consent to conditions
    • You must live in the US, and possess a permanent registered address there
    • You must be a lawful permanent resident by birth or hold a green card, meaning you live and work legally in the US
    • You must have a minimum income of at least 125% of the Federal Poverty Guidelines
    • You must prove that you can financially support your spouse and/or your dependents once they arrive in the US
    • Any children that you are petitioning for must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and not living an independent life

    In addition to these requirements of the US sponsor, both spouses and children must provide all of the required documents set out by the USCIS, and pass all the eligibility requirements. There are different grounds for inadmissibility under the US immigration law, and some of the major categories of inadmissibility include the following:

    • Prior removals from the US, or unlawful presence
    • Fraud or misrepresentation
    • National security issues
    • Criminal convictions (in Canada and the US alike)
    • Health and medical issues or concerns

    Document Checklist

    As part of the application process, you are to submit the following documents:

    • An affidavit of support. This is a contract stating that the US sponsor agrees to use their financial resources to sponsor their family once they arrive in the US
    • All requested civil documents. These documents may include (but are not limited to) the following:
      • Marriage certificate
      • Birth certificate
      • Military records
      • Court records
      • Police certificates from all countries previously lived in
    • All applicable application forms, which may include (but are not limited to) the following:
      • Form DS-260, inclusive of the NVC’s assigned case number to your personal application
      • Form DS-261, which may not be required if you have utilized the help of an immigration lawyer

    Please note that if the foreign national is already within the United States, they will need to undergo an adjustment of status process by filing Form I-485 instead.

    How do I apply for an F2A Visa?

    Like most visa applications, there is quite a process to go through to obtain an F2A Visa. As a general rule, the process of this application should play out as follows:

    Step 1: Filing the Petition

    The US sponsor begins the application process by filing form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The sponsor then pays for the required fee with the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS). It is important to keep a copy of the paid invoice for these fees, as they will be required as part of the documentation required later on in the process. The petition then goes to the DHS, where the USCIS processes it.

    Step 2: Petition is processed

    Once a sponsor submits the application form, the USCIS will process the petition, which can take up to several months. The USCIS will determine whether to approve or deny the petition and will subsequently send the US sponsor a notice of their decision. If the petition has been denied, the USCIS will inform you of the reasons for the rejection. Upon approval, however, the USCIS will then send the petition to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

    Step 3: Getting A Case Number

    Once they have received the petition from USCIS, the NVC will send the approval documents to the US sponsor and the family members who are applying for the F2A Visa. These documents will include the petition’s case number, applicable fees, payment instructions, and instructions on how to proceed.

    Once the NVC has finished the visa processing and sent the approval, your family may now apply for the F2A visa. However, it is crucial to note that if the quota for the year has been reached, the visa application process will not begin until the following year, as F2A Visas are processed in chronological order. You will be advised if this is the case.

    Step 4: Complete Medical Examination and Vaccination

    This process is mandatory for all people who are immigrating to the US. The applicants will have a set of documents highlighting what specific check-ups they must complete, and a list of vaccinations that are required.

    The applicant must complete the examination at a licensed physician, who must sign the documents clearing a good bill of health, and ascertain that the applicant has taken all the required vaccinations.

    Step 5: Attend a Visa Interview

    The applicants for the F2A Visa must undergo a visa interview at the US embassy or Consulate in the foreign country. Once the NVC is satisfied with all the received documentation, a visa interview will be scheduled for the applicants.

    At the interview, the applicants will be sworn in and asked a series of questions concerning their background, nature, relationship with the US sponsor, and any other line of questioning they wish to approach at their discretion. As a general rule, children under the age of 14 will not be required to attend the visa interview.

    Step 6: Visa Approval

    Once the Embassy or Consulate decides whether or not they will approve the F2A visas, they will advise the applicants. If denied, you will be provided with a letter that explains the decision, and what steps you are eligible to take next.

    Upon approval, the F2A passports will get their visa stamps, and each successful applicant will be given a sealed document that they are not permitted to open. Only a US immigration officer is permitted to open these documents as you enter the US in your port of entry.

    Contact our expert immigration lawyers for assistance with applying for an F2A visa. Contact Us

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      How much does the F2A Visa cost?

      F2A Visa applicants are required to pay the application fees before submitting their supporting documents.

      The entire application process will require fees at different stages, which are non-refundable if the application is rejected, and which must be paid for to process the petition.

      All fees may vary and are set by the Department of Homeland Security, USCIS, and the US Embassy or Consulate in your family member’s country of residence.

      A rough breakdown of the required fees is as follows:

      • Form I-130 filing fee – Usually $535
      • Form DS-260 processing fee- Variable costs
      • The sponsor may need to pay for the affidavit of support, – Usually $120
      • Vaccination and medical examination fees – Variable costs
      • USCIS immigrant fees, which must be paid upon receiving the visa and before traveling to the US – Variable costs
      • Fees for obtaining and translating all supporting documents – Variable costs
      • Moving and transport fees – Variable costs

      How Total Law can help with your visa application

      Hiring the services of specialized immigration lawyers when it comes to moving to the US from anywhere in the world (even temporarily) has the potential to save you a lot of time and money. Understanding all the ins and outs of US immigration law can be a challenge, and can lead to delays or rejection of your visa application. Total Law immigration lawyers can ensure your visa petition and application are watertight and contain everything you need to maximize your chances of success.

      We understand that there is much at stake with an F2A visa application, and your future and livelihood may depend on an approved application. We will work with you at every stage of the process. Regardless of the type of visa you select for your circumstances, the best step is to get in touch with us so you know that you are guaranteed the right path and stand for a much higher success rate for your immigration application.

      You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone or by using the online chat function to speak with one of our client care agents. For more information on how we can help you or get started right away, you can call us on +1 844 290 6312 today.

      Get in touch with us to obtain an F2A visa. Contact Us

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  The F2A Visa has an annual statutory cap of around 114,200 approved visas each year. The F2A Visa is allocated around 70% of this limit (approximately 80,000), and the other 30% is allocated to the F2B Visa (approximately 35,000). It is because of this cap that the increase in demand may make the waiting time longer to be successful in this particular category.