What is the F2B visa?
The F2B visa is a Family Based Green Card that is part of the U.S. Family Preference visa category, along with the F2A visa, F3 visa and F4 visa. The F2B visa is for unmarried adult children of a U.S. Green Card holder.
Family Preference visas have an F prefix. The F2 visa category is for spouses, minors, and adult children of U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents. The F2 visa provides two options:
- F2A visa – for spouses and minor children of LPRs
- F2B visa – for unmarried children above 21 years of age of LPRs
The Family Preference visas have a cap as to how many visas are issued each year, so the number of visas has a limit. This means that each visa category is allocated a certain amount of visas per year, and when the limit is reached, other applicants have to wait for their turn.
The annual cap for F2 visas is approximately 114,200, with 70% going to F2A visas and 30% to F2B visas. This translates as follows across F2A and F2B visas:
F2A visa – 79,940 visas, 70% of the total number of visas
F2B visa – 34,260 visas, 30% of the total number of visas
The F2B visa provides Green Card holders the chance to reunite with their adult child in the U.S. and permits the child to legally live, work and study in the U.S.
This page sets out the F2B visa requirements, application process, and other relevant information.
For specific help with any U.S. family visa or any other U.S. immigration matter, please call our U.S. immigration lawyers on +1 844 290 6312 or fill out the quick online form. We’re available in-person, by phone or online.
F2B visa eligibility criteria
If your child is older than 21 years of age and unmarried, they will be eligible to apply for a Green Card through the F2B visa. Do bear in mind that if the child gets married before the petition is approved, they will no longer be eligible for the F2B visa.
To apply for an F2B visa, the child will need to complete an application form and several documents will need to be submitted in their application.
A vital document is evidence of the relationship between your child and the Green Card holder, through a birth certificate or adoption documents.
The F2B visa sponsor must fulfil several key requirements, as listed below.
The F2B visa sponsor must be:
- A Green Card holder
- The parent of the person they are petitioning for, and be able to provide evidence of this
- Living in the U.S. with a verified address
Note that a Green Card holder is also called a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), or Permanent Resident Alien. An LPR is a non-citizen who is lawfully authorized to live permanently within the U.S. He or she may also apply to become a U.S. citizen if they meet certain eligibility requirements.
F2B visa document requirements
When you apply for an F2B visa, you will need to submit a number of documents along with the application form. These include the following:
- Passport – must be valid for 6 months after planned entry into the U.S.
- Birth certificate or adoption certificate
- A signed Form I-864 (Affidavit of Support from U.S. petitioner)
- Form DS-260 confirmation page
- Medical examination and vaccination documents
- Two photographs
- Court and criminal records and/or police certificate
- Divorce certificates (if relevant)
- Death certificate (if relevant)
- Military certificates (if relevant)
Note that any documents that are not in English must be translated by an accredited translator, as documents that are not provided in English will be rejected in the application.
F2B visa application process
The F2B application process comprises two main stages: the filing of the petition and the application being submitted. Below is a list of all the key steps in the whole F2B visa application process.
List of the key steps in the F2B visa application process
- Sponsor completes the petition form and sends it to USCIS
- NVC receives approved petition
- NVC sends a package to the overseas applicant explaining the next steps
- A visa application slot becomes available
- F2B visa application process begins and the applicant completes Form DS-260
- Applicant collects the required documents together
- Medical examination and vaccinations are carried out
- Applicant attends the F2B visa interview at U.S. embassy or consulate
- Applicant’s passport is stamped, and applicant receives NVC packet
- Applicant travels to the U.S.
Filing the F2B petition
The first step in the F2B application process is filing the petition.
This is a vital first step. If a petition is not submitted, or is submitted and rejected, you will not be able to proceed with the application.
Both the U.S. Green Card holder and sponsor need to complete the petition. Usually the sponsor is the petitioner. Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) will be processed by the USCIS.
The sponsor will receive an approval or rejection from the USCIS. If the petition is rejected, the sponsor will be informed of the reasons, which provides the sponsor the opportunity to rectify any issues and re-submit the petition.
If the petition is accepted, the documents will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for onward processing.
The adult child applicant will then receive a package from the NVC, with detailed next steps in the process.
Medical examination and vaccinations
Any person who wants to emigrate to the U.S. is required to undergo a medical examination and receive certain vaccinations.
The package which is sent by the NVC to F2B applicants will explain which medical examinations and vaccinations are needed.
Embassy / Consulate interview for F2B visa
Once an F2B application has been sent to the NVC, the application will be processed. If the NVC determines that you meet all necessary requirements, an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the applicant’s country of residence will be arranged.
The Embassy / Consulate interview is a vital and last stage of the F2B visa application process. The Embassy / Consulate will have a copy of your application at the interview and you will be interviewed by an official who will decide whether to accept or reject your F2B visa application.
If your F2B application is successful, the U.S. Embassy / Consulate will stamp the visa in your passport. From this point, you will be able to travel to and enter the United States on the basis of this visa.
You will also be given a sealed package by the Embassy / Consulate, which you must not open. You will need to hand over this packet with you when you travel to the United States, and a U.S. immigration official will open it when you arrive at the airport.
The interview stage of the F2B application process can be a nervous time for applicants. For support and preparation guidance, call Total Law now on +1 844 290 6312.
F2B visa fees
To apply for the F2B visa, several costs will need to be paid.
The main F2B fees
- I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative form) – currently $535
- Processing fee for DS-260 form
- Vaccination(s) fees
- Medical examination fee
- Fees for having any documents translated (if relevant)
- USCIS immigrant fee – payable after you receive your visa and before you travel to the U.S.
How Total Law can help
Total Law has highly experienced immigration (and emigration) attorneys, who are able to ensure your F2B application is comprehensive and watertight, to ensure your chance of a successful outcome.
Your assigned immigration advisor will review the annual F2B Visa bulletin to check the availability of this visa. They will ensure your F2B application is progressed as fast as possible, bearing in mind the wait times.
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Since an F2B visa application can take time to be processed, it is possible that an applicant’s sponsor might become a U.S. citizen before the visa decision is provided.
In such a situation, the sponsor can submit a new petition for an Immediate Relative application. These types of applications have no quotas, and the applicant will enjoy a quicker application processing timeframe.
Every month, the U.S. Department of State issues the F2B Visa Bulletin.
The F2B Visa Bulletin defines the terms and deadline for applying for a visa from foreign countries. It also helps you estimate your F2B visa remaining processing time. Once your petition is filed, you will be able to check the application status and your place in the waiting line.
The number of children over 21 allowed in the U.S. under the F2B visa is considerably small. Thus, F2B visa processing times can take some time.
In terms of exactly how long, although there are a few cases of applicants waiting many years for their F2B visa, but this process usually takes an average of 2 years.
There are several F2 visas, as follows:
F2B visa – Second preference. This is for unmarried sons and daughters (21 years of age and older) of Lawful Permanent Residents / Green Card holders.
F3 visa – Third preference. This is for married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens.
F4 visa – Fourth preference. This is for siblings of U.S. citizens (if the U.S. citizen is 21 years of age or older).