F2B Visa: US Family Preference Visas

The Family Preference Visa has the prefix F. There are many types of it, one of which is the F-2 visa. The F-2 visa is for the spouse, minor children and adult children of a lawful permanent resident.

  • F2A visas (for spouse and minor children of lawful permanent residents).
  • F2B visas are for unmarried children over the age of 21 of LPRs.

There is a cap on the number of family preference visas that can be issued in a year. This means that each category receives a certain number of visas per year, while the other categories wait their turn.

In the case of the F-2 visa, 114,200 visas are issued annually. They are divided between the two categories in this way.

  • F2A visas will receive at least 79,940 visas, or 70 percent of the total.
  • F2B visas are 34,260, or less than 30 percent of the total.

This article explains what an F2B visa is, its requirements, the application process, and other relevant details.

What is the F2B Visa?

An F2B visa is a family preference visa issued to the spouse or unmarried minor children of a U.S. Green Card holder. A minor child is defined as the biological or adopted child of an unmarried LPR who is 21 years of age or older. If you are married or cannot document that your parents are in the U.S., you do not qualify for an F2B visa.

The F2B visa gives you the opportunity to reunite your family. It also allows your adult children to live, study and work legally and permanently in the United States.

What are the requirements for the F2B visa?

There are no extensive requirements for an applicant to qualify for an F2B visa; the criteria for F2B visa applicants are as follows:

  • Be the child of a lawful permanent resident of the United States, as evidenced by a birth certificate or adoption papers
  • Must be at least 21 years of age
  • Must be unmarried.

For LPRs, the following conditions must be met:

  • Must be the applicant’s parent, which can be verified by a birth certificate or adoption papers.
  • Must be a U.S. LPR
  • Applicant must be a U.S. resident and have a U.S. address.

How to Apply for the F2B visa?

The application process for the F2B visa is divided into two parts:

  • A U.S. permanent resident applies to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for an adult child petition.
  • Once the petition is approved, the adult child must file an application with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in his or her home country.

The petition process cannot begin until USCIS approves the LPR child’s petition. Adult children cannot simply file a petition through the U.S. Embassy without USCIS approval and will not be considered.

Filing the Petition

U.S. LPRs must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with USCIS. This petition is filed with the Department of Homeland Security, which is part of USCIS; the LPR must pay a fee set by USCIS.

USCIS will then process the petition and send its response to the LPR. If the petition is denied, the reason for the denial will be provided. If the petition is denied, the reason for denial will also be noted so that the LPR can adjust and resubmit the petition. If the petition is approved, the LPR is notified and USCIS sends the documents to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.

The NVC reviews the case and sends the petitioner (adult child) a packet with instructions on how to proceed. This packet contains the case number and billing ID number that the applicant will need to apply at the U.S. Embassy. This packet includes the required documents and fees and explains the process to be followed.

To complete step 2, the applicant must wait until the date is up to date. This is because there is a cap on F2B visas. If you have reached the F2B visa limit for this year, you will need to wait until you apply for the next batch of F2B visas. Once your information is up to date, you will be notified by the NVC and can begin the process of applying for your visa.

Applying for the F2B visa

Once your application date is confirmed, follow the NVC’s instructions to ensure your application is error-free and accepted by the U.S. Embassy. This part of the application process should be done at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the adult child’s country of residence; NVC will send the documents to that Embassy so they can verify the information as well.

File Form DS-260

The Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa (Form DS-260) is a mandatory document that must be submitted by immigrant visa applicants. This application is completed online and verifies your personal information, background, and reasons why you want to immigrate to the United States. You can access it by entering your NVC case number and billing ID number. Once you have completed and submitted the required fields, you will receive a confirmation page and number to submit to the NVC as part of your documentation.

Complete medical examination and vaccination

If you plan to immigrate to the U.S., a complete medical exam and required immunizations are mandatory; NVC will send you a list of medical exams you must obtain from a licensed physician and a list of required immunizations. You must complete both of these documents and send them to NVC.

Compile documents file

In addition to your application and medical records, you must send NVC documents that support your eligibility for an F2B visa. The document file must include the following

  • A valid passport that is at least six months old at the time you plan to enter the United States.
  • Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, signed by the U.S. petitioner or LPR (parent of the applicant).
  • Confirmation page for Form DS-260
  • Documentation of medical examinations and immunizations
  • Two photographs (as per photo requirements for U.S. visas)
  • Your valid birth certificate or adoption certificate
  • Court records, criminal records, or police certificates
  • If you were married in the past, bring a divorce or death certificate proving that your marriage has officially ended.

If you served in the military, bring your military service record.
Once you have all the necessary documents for your U.S. visa, consider your health insurance options.

Attend interview

The interview is the final step in obtaining your visa. Once NVC has processed all of your documents and determined that you meet the requirements, an interview will be scheduled at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence.

You must be there on that day and at that time. An official from the Embassy will conduct the interview and determine if you are eligible for an F2B visa.

Receive NVC packet and travel to the U.S.

Once your visa is approved, the U.S. Embassy will stamp your passport and you can enter the United States. The Embassy will also give you a sealed package that must not be opened under any circumstances. When you travel to the United States, you must bring this sealed package with you and have it opened by a U.S. immigration officer.

What are the F2B visa fees?

There are several fees that must be paid by the petitioner and applicant during the F2B visa application process. The amounts are determined by USCIS, the Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying. The major categories of fees that must be paid are.

  • Form I-130 Application Fee
  • Form DS-260 Processing Fee
  • Fees for medical examinations and vaccinations
  • Fees for obtaining and translating all supporting documents
  • The USCIS immigration fee must be paid after you receive your visa and before you travel to the United States.

How long is the F2B visa processing time?

Unfortunately, it is not possible to determine how long the F2B visa process will take. Due to the limited number of visas available, many people wait more than two years, and in extreme cases, up to seven years. Therefore, you must wait until the date changes before you can start your application.

What if the petitioning LPR got a U.S citizenship while the F2B visa is processing?

Because it takes a long time for the F2B visa to become valid, it is possible that the LPR or the applicant’s parents may become U.S. citizens during this time.

Once U.S. citizenship is obtained, the parent can apply for an IR (Immediate Relative) visa for their adult child abroad.

This has the advantage that the IR visa is not capped and the processing time is short. The parent can then submit a new application for an IR visa.

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