There are several categories of immigrant visas in the United States. One of them is the IR visa (Immediate Relative Immigrant Visas).
In this article, we will discuss what an IR2 visa is, its requirements, application process and other relevant details.
What Is the IR2 Visa?
The IR2 visa is a U.S. visa for unmarried children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21. It may also be granted if the child is covered by the Child Status Protection Act and is treated as under 21 years of age.
The benefit of obtaining an IR2 visa for a child is that the child can not only live in the United States, but also attend school and continue his or her studies. Finally, the child receives a green card and can work in the future without needing an EAD (Employment Authorization Document).
The advantage of the IR2 visa and all close relative immigrant visas over the family preference immigrant visa is that there is no annual cap. So, as long as the applicant meets the requirements for the visa, they are eligible for an IR2 visa.
Who Can Apply for the IR2 Visa?
The requirements for an IR2 visa are not as extensive as for other visa types. Must be the child of a U.S. citizen.
- Must be under the age of 21.
- Must be unmarried.
- Be residing in a foreign country.
- Have lived with their adoptive parents, who are U.S. citizens, for at least two years.
In addition to the criteria for a child applying for an IR2 visa, a U.S. citizen must meet the following criteria.
- Agree to adopt an unmarried child under the age of 21 from a foreign country.
- Be a U.S. citizen.
- Have adopted and lived with a foreign child for two years.
How to Apply For the IR2 Visa?
The application process for the IR2 visa follows the same pattern as other family visas. There are two main ways to apply.
- A U.S. citizen files a petition on behalf of the child with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Once the petition is approved, the child must apply at the U.S. embassy or consulate in his or her home country.
Therefore, the application process must begin in the U.S. by the U.S. citizen filing a petition with the authorities.
Filing the Petition
The application is made by filing an I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative). The U.S. citizen must complete all required fields of the petition and submit it to USCIS. There is also a fee that must be paid by the U.S. citizen in order for the petition to be processed.
The petition then goes through the Department of Homeland Security and is processed within a few months. Once processing is complete, the U.S. citizen is notified of the status. If the petition is denied, USCIS will notify you of the reason for the denial. If the petition is approved, it will be submitted to the National Visa Center (NVC), which is the main point of contact for IR2 visas.
The NVC sends a packet of information and instructions to the petitioner abroad. The packet also includes a case number and a billing ID number. These numbers are used to initiate the application from the U.S. Embassy or Consulate abroad.
Applying for the IR2 visa
There is no annual cap on the number of IR2 visas issued, so applicants do not have to wait for confirmation of their priority date; immediately after USCIS approves the petition, foreign applicants can submit their application to a U.S. embassy or consulate. Since the child is a minor, he or she may have someone assist him or her in filing the petition. U.S. citizens do not have many obligations during this part of the application.
File Form DS-260
The Electronic Petition for Immigrant Visa (Form DS-260) is a document that must be submitted by immigrant visa applicants.
This form can be accessed through the NVC case number and is linked to the applicant’s case and approved petition. IR2 visa applicants or those assisting the applicant must complete all sections with questions regarding the applicant’s information, background, and purpose for immigrating to the United States. Once Form DS-260 is submitted, a confirmation page and number will be issued and should be included with the documentation.
Complete medical examination and vaccination
In the United States, there are certain health examination and immunization requirements that must be met by citizens and immigrants. Any person seeking to immigrate to the United States must undergo the required medical examinations and immunizations. The NVC packet that the applicant receives after the petition is approved will specify the medical procedures and vaccines that the applicant must receive. Only a licensed physician who signs them can complete these forms and medical examinations. These documents will be attached to the accompanying file that the petitioner sends to NVC.
Compile documents file
In addition to the application, the applicant must attach a set of documents to explain to NVC why he or she is eligible to travel to the United States on an IR2 visa.
The IR2 visa file must include the following required documents.
- A valid passport that is at least six months old at the time of intended entry into the United States
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, signed by the U.S. petitioner (parent of the petitioner)
- Confirmation page for Form DS-260
- Documentation of medical examinations and immunizations
- Two photographs of each person in accordance with U.S. visa photo regulations
- Court records, criminal records, and/or police certifications
- If you have served in the military, bring your military service record.
Applicants for immigration to the U.S. must attend an interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate to which they are applying.
In this case, the applicant is a child and may be accompanied by a parent or guardian. During the interview, you will be asked questions about your child and whether or not he or she is eligible for an IR2 visa.
Receive NVC packet and travel to the U.S.
Once your child’s IR2 visa is approved, he or she can travel to the United States. The visa will be stamped in your passport and you will receive a packet from the Embassy. This packet must be brought with you when your child first enters the United States. This packet must not be opened under any circumstances. Only a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer at the U.S. point of entry will open the packet to determine if the applicant is eligible to enter the United States.
Do I Get Access to American Healthcare With an IR2 Visa?
Yes, you can use an IR2 visa to receive medical care in the United States. However, the cost of medical care in the United States is among the highest in the world.
Treatment for a broken leg or arm can cost up to $2,500, and an average stay in a U.S. hospital can cost more than $10,000. You need to choose a health insurance plan that is right for you and covers your needs in an overall affordable way.
Other Types of Immediate Relative Visas
The IR visa category benefits immediate relatives and family members of U.S. citizens living outside the U.S., and includes
- IR1 visas for the spouse of a U.S. citizen
- IR2 visas for unmarried children under 21 of U.S. citizens
- IR3 visas for children of U.S. citizens adopted abroad
- IR4 visa for children adopted in the U.S. by U.S. citizens
- IR5 visa for parents of U.S. citizens over the age of 21.
As you can see, immediate relatives are only spouses, biological or adopted children, and parents. Grandparents, uncles and aunts are not considered immediate relatives and therefore cannot qualify for these visas.
What Are the Fees to Pay For the IR2 Visa?
There are various fees to be paid by the petitioner and the applicant for processing the IR2 visa application. The main categories of fees that must be paid are.
- Form I-130 Filing Fee
- Form DS-260 Filing Fee
- Fees for medical examinations and immunizations
- 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 IR2 Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for an IR2 visa ranges from 3 to 12 months, depending on individual circumstances, and since there is no annual cap, the processing time for an IR2 visa is much shorter than for a family preference visa.
Do I Become a U.S Citizen Once I Get the IR2 Visa?
A child who enters the U.S. on an IR2 visa can become a U.S. citizen immediately; if the child is under 18, they can become a U.S. citizen as soon as they enter the U.S. and declare that they will live in the U.S. with their parents.
If they are 18 or older, they can apply for citizenship if they qualify and obtain an IR2 green card with permanent residency.