What is the IR2 visa?
The IR2 visa is a US green card available to unmarried children of US citizens. For a child to be eligible for the subsidy, they must be under 21 years old. It is an immigrant visa that grants the holder permission to live and study in the United States. They can also work without needing an employment authorization document.
The visa is not only available to biological children of US citizens but also to adopted children and stepchildren. This visa, like all other immediate related visas, does not have an annual limit. You can therefore request and obtain it at any time.
Who is eligible for an IR2 visa?
To be eligible for an IR2 visa, the applicant must be unmarried and under 21 years of age. Additionally, they must meet one of the following requirements:
- Natural child of married US citizen(s): At least one parent must be a US citizen.
- Unmarried natural child of a U.S. citizen; This requires a blood test to prove paternity if the father is a U.S. citizen.
- Legally adopted child of a US citizen; the child must be under 18 years of age at the time of adoption and must have lived with the adoptive U.S. citizen’s parents for two years.
- Stepson of US citizen; the child must be under 18 years of age at the time of the parent’s marriage.
Documents required for IR2 visa
To apply for the IR2 visa, the applicant must provide the following documents:
- International passport valid for more than 6 years from the intended date of entry
- DS-260 form confirmation page
- Form I-130 petition approved
- Proof of medical examination and vaccination
- Two passport-sized photographs according to US visa standards
Judicial or criminal records
- Military documents if parents served in the military
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may also request additional information depending on the circumstances. If the documents are not in English, you must provide certified versions in English.
IR2 visa application process
The application process for the IR2 visa is identical to that of other family visas. The U.S. citizen files a petition with USCIS on behalf of the child, and upon approval, the child applies to a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
Form I-130, Request
The sponsoring U.S. citizen/parent must complete Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relatives. This is the first step in the application process. You must complete the petition, pay the filing fee, and submit it to USCIS. USCIS will not begin processing until you pay the filing fee.
USCIS and also the Department of Homeland Security will process your request and perform a background check. After processing, you will be notified of their decision. If your petition is denied, USCIS will explain why. If approved, the petition goes to the National Visa Center (NVC).
The NVC will provide the applicant (your child) in a foreign country with the necessary information and instructions on the application. In particular, this will include the case and invoice ID. numbers. These numbers are important when applying for an immigrant visa abroad.
After USCIS authorizes the petition, your child will be able to apply at a U.S. embassy or consulate. As a minor, it is important that you have someone to assist with the request.
File DS-260, Immigration Application
All immigrant visa applicants must complete Form DS-260, Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa. You can access this form using your NVC case number and approved Form I-130 petition.
Your child must complete all portions of the DS-260, which ask for personal information, background, and reason for immigrating to the United States. After submitting Form DS-260, they will receive a confirmation page and number. It is important to print these for your visa interview.
IR2 visa application fees
For an IR2 visa application, you will need to pay all or some of the following fees:
- Form I-130 filing fee ($535)
- DS-260 Form Processing Fee ($325)
- Fees for medical examination and vaccination (varies depending on location or doctor involved).
- Fees for translation of non-English supporting documents (varies)
USCIS Immigrant Fee ($220, if applicable)
If required, you must pay the USCIS immigration fee before your child travels to the United States, or he or she may not receive a Green Card and may be denied entry.
IR2 Visa Processing Time
The IR2 visa does not have an annual limit on the number of people who can obtain it.
This indicates that the waiting times for this visa are much shorter than for family preference immigrant visas.
Processing times vary based on circumstances. Generally, processing an IR2 immigrant visa application will take 3 to 12 months.
Citizenship by IR2 visa
Children with IR2 visas can become citizens of the United States. If the child on the IR2 visa is under the age of 18, he or she will automatically receive U.S. citizenship once he or she enters the country with the intention of living with his or her parents.
Anyone over the age of 18 can become a lawful permanent resident using the IR2 green card. However, they can apply for citizenship when they qualify. To be eligible, the applicant must live in the United States for approximately 2.5-3 years.
Can my married children under 21 apply for the IR2 Green Card?
The IR2 visa category is reserved exclusively for unmarried children under the age of 21. If your child is under 21 and married before obtaining the visa, he or she will no longer be eligible.
However, married children under 21 can still enter the United States by applying for an F2B visa. They will need to file a second Form I-130. However, obtaining the F2B visa may be more rigorous and take longer as the annual limit is significantly reduced. Processing takes an average of 2 years.
What is the difference between IR1 and IR2?
The IR-1 visa is for the spouse of a US citizen, while the IR2 visa is for the unmarried child of a US citizen under the age of 21.
Can my children enter the United States while their IR2 visa application is pending?
If you have already submitted Form I-130, your children can visit the United States while you wait for USCIS to respond. For this, however, they must apply for a K-4 visa. The K-4 visa is relatively faster to process and allows the child to live, work and study in the United States.