Family Preference or F visas are immigration visas that allow families to be reunited in the United States. Although visa holders enjoy benefits such as working and studying in the United States, the annual issuance of these visas has a yearly cap. It means that most eligible people who have received the necessary approvals have to wait for years to obtain their visas.
The types of F visas are F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4. We will concentrate on the US F2B visa in this article. Therefore in the next sections, you will learn the application process for this visa, its requirements, processing time, interview questions, and other details.
What is a US F2B visa?
This visa is for adult children of US Green Card holders. An adult child is a person over the age of 21 who is also single. Holders of this visa have many benefits. For example, they can work and live in this country permanently.
It should be noted that the annual issuance of Family Preference visas, including F2A visas, is limited. Therefore, many people who are eligible for this visa have to wait a long time to become their current priority date. Of the 114,200 F2 visas issued annually, only 34,260 are allocated to F2B, which is less than 30% of the total.
What are the requirements for an F2B visa?
As an F2B visa applicant, you should consider the following:
- One of your parents should be a US Lawful Permanent Resident. On the other hand, you must prove your relationship with him/her by presenting a birth certificate or adaptation documents.
- You must be over 21 years old.
- You should not be married.
Your parents, who are known as sponsors or petitioners, should also consider the following:
- They must be US Lawful Permanent Residents.
- They must live in the US and have a valid address in this country.
How to apply for a US F2B visa?
In general, the F2B visa application process has two general steps. Parents must first file a petition to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. If the petition is approved, the adult child can then go to the US Consulate in his or her home country to continue the visa application process. If the parents do not receive the necessary approvals in the United States, the applicant can not apply for a visa.
File a petition to USCIS
The US Lawful Permanent Resident first submits his or her petition to the USCIS by submitting Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. The Department of Homeland Security then reviews the case. Finally, USCIS announces the result to the petitioner. If the appeal is dismissed, USCIS will clearly explain the reasons for the decision. But if approved, the case will be handed over to the National Visa Center or NVC. From now on, the organization will review and process the visa application.
NVC first sends a package to the F2B visa applicant in their home country. In this package, there are instructions that explain to the applicant what will happen in the next steps. Besides, NVC will send the case number and invoice ID number to the applicant.
As an F2B visa applicant, you should know that the NVC package will be sent to you when your priority date has become current. Otherwise, you have to wait. Therefore, once USCIS approves the application, the NVC package will not be sent to you immediately, and you will not be able to begin the visa application process in your home country.
Apply for an F2B visa
Once your priority date has become current and you have received the NVC package, you can do the rest of the application according to the instructions. From this point onward, you, as an F2B visa applicant, must go through the following steps:
1. Completion and submission of Form DS-260
You must complete this form as an immigrant visa applicant.
You need the case number issued by NVC to access the form. After completing the form, a confirmation page will appear that you need to save because you will need it in the next steps.
2. Perform medical examination and vaccination
You must be examined and checked by a licensed physician before entering the United States. Vaccination may also be necessary in some cases. The NVC instructions will explain to you what checkups to do. After the tests, some documents and forms are completed and signed by the doctor. You have to provide these documents to NVC in the next step.
3. Provide documents to NVC
You must provide the following documents to NVC to prove your eligibility for an F2A visa:
- Valid passport: Your passport must be valid for at least six months from the date of arrival in the United States.
- A signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, signed by your parents as your petitioner
- Form DS-260 confirmation page
- Your birth certificate or documents related to the adaptation
- Documents related to the medical examination
- Clinical records
- If you have served in the military, you can provide your military records.
- Two photos
- If you have been married before, you must prove that your marriage is over through divorce or a death certificate.
Note: Your documents must be in English. If not, have them translated by a verified or accredited translator. Remember that US officials won’t accept documents in your native language.
4. Attend the interview
If the documents you provided in the previous step are complete, NVC will schedule an interview at the embassy. You should also attend the interview and answer the questions asked by the consular officer honestly and accurately. Based on the answers you provide, the consular officer will decide whether to grant you a visa.
5. Get another NVC package and travel to the US
If the visa application is approved, the embassy will give you another package sent by NVC. The information in this package will help immigration officers make the final decision about entering the United States. Remember, you are never allowed to open this package, and you must give it to immigration officers upon arrival in the United States.
What questions might the consular officer ask on the day of the interview?
As mentioned, you must attend an interview at the embassy during your visa application process. On the interview day, the consular officer will ask questions related to your background, your relationship with the petitioner (one of your parents), and the purpose of your immigration to the United States. Some of the questions that probably be asked are:
- What are your petitioner’s name and date of birth?
- What is your relationship with him/her?
- Is your petitioner a US citizen or a Lawful Permanent Resident?
- When did he/she immigrate to the United States?
- In which US state does your petitioner live?
- What is the job of your petitioner?
- What is the petitioner’s field of study?
- Do you have a photo of you and your petitioner together?
- What are your plans after arriving in the United States? Do you want to work or study?
How much does this visa cost?
During the visa application process, the applicant and the petitioner must pay different fees. Because the exact amount of these costs varies and is determined by USCIS, it is hard to estimate accurately. But in general, you should note that you have to pay a fee for each of the following services and actions:
- Filing Form I-130
- Form DS-260 processing
- Performing medical examinations
- Translation of documents into English
- Getting supporting documents
- USCIS Immigrant Fee: You, as a US F2B visa applicant, need to pay this fee after receiving your visa and before entering the United States. Otherwise, USCIS will reject your request for a Green Card.
How long does it take to assess the submitted documents and issue the visa?
Unfortunately, the annual issuance of F-visas, including the F2B, is limited. This way, your petition may be approved, but you will have to wait for your priority date to become current. Some people may even wait up to 7 years to get their visas. So the processing time for an F2B visa is a bit long.
What if the child gets married?
F2B visa is for unmarried children. The one point you need to remember is that if the child gets married before the petition to USCIS is accepted, they will not be eligible for the F2B visa. So if the applicant has marriage intentions, he/she would better wait until the USCIS decides on his/her application.
What is the most important document for an F2B visa?
The applicant needs to provide a series of supporting documents to USCIS. However, the most important part is being able to prove his/her relationship with the holders or Green card residing in the US through a birth or adoption certificate. It must be valid and issued by the government of the country the applicant lives in.
What can you do if the application is rejected?
The young adult and the holder of the Green card need to apply for the F2B visa together. First, the person who has the Green card submits the petition to the USCIS. If it’s rejected, the US authorities explain the reasons for rejection. So the applicant can work on his/her conditions and improve them. They need to work to remove the obstacles. They can petition again and try with an improved case. This time they will have a better chance.
What if the annual cap is reached?
As explained, there is an annual limit to the F2B visa issuance. But if your documents are complete and the USCIS has accepted your application, you can wait until the next year and continue the application process. You need to follow the news websites for US immigration and know when is the time to apply. You would better begin the procedure as soon as possible as it could take longer.
When the opportunity is available, the applicant must fill in the online Form DS-260.
What if the sponsor becomes a US citizen before application approval?
The US B2 visa processing time is long, and you might have to wait over a year before the officials decide on it. In the meantime, what happens if the sponsor living in the US receives eligibility and becomes a US citizen?
In this situation, the applicant applies for an Immediate Relative application. The processing time is much faster, and there are no quotas.
F2B visa processing time
You can not define a particular processing time for a US F2b visa. Since there is an annual quota issuance, some applicants might have to wait up to two years to receive the visa or get a decision on their application. In some rare cases, applicants have had to wait for 6-7 years. You would better apply when the date is available and work on your application to receive the desired results as soon as possible.
Let’s sum up…
In the previous paragraphs, we tried to answer the questions that you, as a US F2B visa applicant, may face in the application process. On the Visa Library website, you can learn about other US visas as well as how to immigrate to other countries.
If you already have experience in getting a visa, share it with other readers and us through the comments section because your experiences help others make fewer mistakes. We will also be happy if you share your constructive comments and suggestions with us.