What Is the F2B Visa?
The F2B visa category is a part of the United States immigration system and pertains to family-sponsored immigration. The F2B visa is reserved specifically for the unmarried adult children (21 years of age or older) of lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in the United States. In the family-sponsored immigration system, U.S. citizens and green card holders can sponsor certain family members for immigration to the United States.
The F2B visa category is subject to numerical limits each year, which means there will be waiting periods before a visa becomes available for applicants in this category. The waiting time can vary depending on factors such as the applicant’s country of origin and the overall demand for visas in that category.
Who Can Apply for the F2B Visa?
The F2B visa is available for unmarried adult children (21 years of age or older) of lawful permanent residents (green card holders) in the United States. Here are some key points about who could apply for the F2B visa:
- Relationship: The F2B visa category is intended for the unmarried adult children (21 years of age or older) of lawful permanent residents. This means that if you are a U.S. green card holder and have an unmarried adult child who is 21 years or older, you can sponsor them for the F2B visa.
- Age: The child must be 21 years of age or older to be eligible for the F2B visa category. If they were under 21, they would typically fall under the F2A visa category (unmarried children under 21 of green card holders), which generally has a shorter waiting time compared to the F2B category.
- Priority Date and Waiting Time: The F2B category is subject to numerical limits set by the U.S. government each year. This means there will be a waiting period before a visa number becomes available for the applicant. The waiting time can vary depending on factors like the applicant’s country of origin and the overall demand for visas in that category. Check the U.S. Department of State Visa Bulletin for more information.
- Country of Origin: The availability of F2B visas can also depend on the applicant’s country of origin. Visa bulletin updates released by the U.S. Department of State outline the current wait times and visa availability for different visa categories and countries.
- Sponsorship and Affidavit of Support: The green card holder parent would need to initiate the sponsorship process by filing a visa petition (Form I-130) on behalf of their unmarried adult child. The sponsoring parent would also need to provide an affidavit of support to demonstrate their ability to financially support the immigrant upon their entry to the U.S.
How to Apply for the F2B Visa?
Applying for the F2B visa involves several steps, including the sponsorship process by the lawful permanent resident (green card holder) parent and the subsequent visa application process by the sponsored unmarried adult child. Here is a general outline of the steps involved in applying for the F2B visa:
Step 1. Sponsorship Process by the LPR Parent:
- File Form I-130: The sponsoring parent needs to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This form establishes the family relationship between the green card holder parent and the unmarried adult child.
- Wait for Approval: After filing the Form I-130, you will need to wait for it to be processed and approved by the USCIS. You might receive a Notice of Action (Form I-797) confirming the receipt of the petition and providing a case receipt number.
- Check Visa Bulletin: Keep track of the Visa Bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State. This bulletin provides information about visa availability based on the F2B category and the sponsored individual’s country of origin.
Step 2. Visa Application Process by the Sponsored Child:
- Wait for Priority Date: The priority date is the date the Form I-130 was filed on behalf of the sponsored individual. The priority date is crucial because visa numbers become available based on these dates and the demand in the F2B category.
- Check Visa Availability: Regularly check the Visa Bulletin to determine whether a visa number is available for the sponsored individual’s priority date and country of origin. The Visa Bulletin categorizes visa availability by country and preference category (F2B in this case).
- File Form DS-260: If a visa number becomes available and the priority date is current, the sponsored individual should submit Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application, through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
- Pay Fees: Pay the required visa application fees as instructed by the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will take place.
- Submit Required Documents: Prepare and submit the necessary documents, which may include the DS-260 confirmation page, passport, visa application fee payment receipt, police certificates, medical examination results, and any other requested documentation.
- Attend Visa Interview: Schedule and attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in the sponsored individual’s home country. Be sure to bring all required documents and follow the instructions provided.
- Receive Visa Decision: After the visa interview, the consular officer will make a decision on the visa application. If approved, the sponsored individual will receive their immigrant visa stamped in their passport.
- Travel to the U.S.: Once the visa is issued, the sponsored individual can travel to the United States. Upon arrival, they will go through the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) process at the port of entry.
F2B Visa Checklist of Documents
While the specific document requirements for the F2B visa application can vary based on individual circumstances of your case, here is a general checklist of documents that you might need for the F2B visa application process:
- Passport and Photos:
- Valid passport for the sponsored individual with a validity that extends beyond the intended period of stay in the U.S.
- Passport-sized photos that meet the U.S. visa photo requirements.
- Form DS-260 Confirmation Page:
- The confirmation page of the Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application, that was submitted online.
- Visa Application Fee Payment Receipt:
- Proof of payment for the visa application fee as required by the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Form I-130 Approval Notice (Form I-797):
- A copy of the Form I-797 Notice of Action confirming the approval of the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, filed by the sponsoring lawful permanent resident (green card holder) parent.
- Police Clearance Certificates:
- Police certificates from the country or countries where the sponsored individual has lived for a certain period, as required by the U.S. embassy or consulate. These certificates indicate whether the individual has any criminal record.
- Medical Examination Results:
- Results of the required medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician. The medical examination is done to ensure the sponsored individual meets health requirements for entry to the U.S.
- Affidavit of Support (Form I-864):
- The sponsoring parent’s completed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form demonstrates the sponsor’s ability to financially support the sponsored immigrant upon their entry to the U.S.
- Financial Evidence:
- Supporting financial documentation, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and pay stubs, to prove the sponsor’s financial stability and ability to support the sponsored individual.
- Birth Certificate:
- A copy of the sponsored individual’s birth certificate, along with translations if the document is not in English.
- Divorce Certificates (If Applicable):
- If the sponsored individual has been divorced, provide divorce certificates as applicable.
- Adoption Documents (If Applicable):
- If the sponsored individual has been adopted, provide documentation related to the adoption.
- Visa Interview Appointment Letter:
- A copy of the appointment letter confirming the date and time of the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
- Any Other Documentation Requested:
- Any additional documents or forms requested by the USCIS or the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will take place.
Please note that this checklist is a general guideline and not an exhaustive list. The specific document requirements can vary based on individual circumstances, nationality, and the specific U.S. embassy or consulate. It’s crucial to carefully review the instructions provided by the embassy or consulate where the visa interview will occur and ensure that all required documents are prepared and organized before the interview.
How Much Does the F2B Visa Cost?
The cost of the F2B visa can vary based on several factors, including the specific fees associated with the visa application process and any additional costs that might be incurred during the immigration journey. A general overview of the typical fees involved in the F2B visa application process is provided below:
- Form I-130 Filing Fee: The sponsoring lawful permanent resident parent is required to pay a filing fee when submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The current I-130 fee is $535.
- Immigrant Visa Application Fee: The visa application fee is $325 for most family-sponsored immigrant visa categories.
- Medical Examination Fee: The medical examination, which is a required part of the visa application process, involves a fee paid to the approved panel physician who conducts the examination. The cost can vary depending on the country and the physician’s charges.
- Affidavit of Support Fee: $120 if sponsored immigrant applies for Consular Processing. There is no separate fee for the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) if the beneficiary applies for Adjustment of Status in the U.S.
- Translation and Document Certification Fees: If any documents need to be translated into English or certified, there could be associated costs for translation services and certification.
- Travel Costs: The sponsored individual will need to travel to the U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa interview. This includes expenses such as transportation, accommodation, and meals.
- Miscellaneous Costs: Depending on individual circumstances, there might be additional costs related to legal fees, obtaining required documents, photographs, or other paperwork.
Keep in mind that government fees can change over time, so it’s advisable to visit the official USCIS Fee Calculator and the website of the specific U.S. embassy or consulate where you plan to apply for the most accurate and current fee information.
What Is the F2B Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for the F2B visa can vary widely based on factors such as the applicant’s country of origin, the demand for visas in the F2B category, the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin updates, and the overall processing capacity of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U.S. embassies or consulates. In this blog post we can provide some general information, but please note that processing times can change over time. Here are some factors that can influence the F2B visa processing time:
- Priority Date: The priority date is the date on which the sponsoring lawful permanent resident (green card holder) parent files the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of the unmarried adult child. The visa bulletin determines when visa numbers become available based on priority dates and countries of origin. Applicants must wait for their priority date to become current before moving forward with visa processing.
- Country of Origin: The waiting time can vary significantly based on the applicant’s country of origin. Countries with high demand for family-sponsored visas might have longer waiting times compared to countries with lower demand.
- Visa Bulletin Updates: The U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin provides information on visa availability and priority dates for each category and country. Visa bulletin updates are published monthly, and applicants need to monitor these updates to know when their priority date becomes current.
- Backlog and Demand: If there is high demand for F2B visas from certain countries, the waiting time can be longer due to the annual numerical limits set for family-sponsored visas.
- USCIS Processing: After the Form I-130 is approved by the USCIS, the case is transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. The NVC handles document collection and processing before the case is sent to the U.S. embassy or consulate for the visa interview.
- Embassy/Consulate Processing: Once the case reaches the U.S. embassy or consulate, the applicant will need to go through the visa application process, including submitting the required documents, attending a visa interview, and waiting for administrative processing if necessary.
Given the complexity and variability of these factors, it’s challenging to provide a precise processing time. Applicants should regularly check the Visa Bulletin, stay informed about their priority date’s movement, and follow the instructions provided by the U.S. embassy or consulate where they will be interviewed. It’s also a good idea to consult with an immigration attorney to better understand the current processing times and requirements for the F2B visa category.