Legal Steps to Reunion: IR-2 Child Visa Application Process

What is an IR-2 visa?

The IR-2 visa is a type of immigrant visa issued by the United States government for children of U.S. citizens who are under the age of 21 and seeking to immigrate to the United States. This visa category is specifically for unmarried children of U.S. citizens and falls under the family-sponsored immigration category.

The IR-2 visa allows the child of a U.S. citizen to enter the United States as a lawful permanent resident (green card holder). This means that once the child enters the U.S. on an IR-2 visa, they have the right to live and work in the U.S. permanently. After a certain period of time, they can also apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet the eligibility requirements.

To apply for an IR-2 visa, the U.S. citizen parent must first file an immigrant petition on behalf of their child, known as Form I-130. Once the petition is approved, the child will go through the visa application process, which includes submitting various documents, attending a medical examination, and attending an interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate.

The IR-2 visa is designed to facilitate the reunification of families and allow U.S. citizens to bring their children to live with them in the United States. It’s important to note that there are specific eligibility criteria and procedures for applying for an IR-2 visa, so it’s recommended to consult the official U.S. government sources or seek legal advice when navigating the visa application process.

How to apply for an IR-2 visa?

Applying for an IR-2 visa involves several steps and requires careful attention to detail. Here is a general overview of the process:

  1. Petition Filing (Form I-130): The U.S. citizen parent must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on behalf of their unmarried child under the age of 21. This form establishes the relationship between the parent and the child and initiates the immigration process.
  2. Petition Approval: Once the Form I-130 is approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), you will receive a notice indicating the approval. This approval indicates that the parent-child relationship has been verified, and the case is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
  3. NVC Processing: The NVC will send you a notice with instructions to start the visa application process. You will need to submit various documents and fees, including the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) and the visa application form (DS-260) for the child.
  4. Document Submission: You will need to gather and submit documents such as birth certificates, passport-style photographs, police clearances, and medical examination results for the child and any accompanying family members.
  5. Affidavit of Support: The U.S. citizen petitioner must submit Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, to demonstrate that they have sufficient financial means to support the intending immigrant without relying on public assistance.
  6. Visa Interview: Once all the required documents are submitted and fees are paid, the NVC will schedule a visa interview for the child at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The child and any accompanying family members will need to attend the interview.
  7. Medical Examination: Before the interview, the child must undergo a medical examination by a designated physician to ensure they meet the health requirements for entry to the U.S.
  8. Visa Approval: If the visa officer approves the visa application during the interview and determines that all requirements have been met, the child will receive the visa on their passport, allowing them to travel to the United States.
  9. Travel to the U.S.: Once the visa is issued, the child can travel to the United States. At the U.S. port of entry, they will undergo inspection by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers, who will determine their eligibility for entry.
  10. Green Card Issuance: After entry to the U.S., the child will receive their permanent resident card (green card) through mail. This card signifies their legal permanent resident status in the United States.

It’s important to note that the IR-2 visa application process can vary based on individual circumstances and the U.S. embassy or consulate’s procedures in the child’s home country. It’s recommended to consult the official U.S. government resources and the specific embassy or consulate’s website for detailed and up-to-date instructions before initiating the application process.

IR-2 visa cost

Here are some of the potential costs involved in the IR-2 visa application process:

  • Form I-130 Filing Fee: This is the fee for filing the Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130), the fee is $535.
  • National Visa Center (NVC) Processing Fee: Once the Form I-130 is approved, you’ll need to pay a fee to the NVC for visa processing and document collection. This fee is $325.
  • Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) Fee: There’s no separate fee for filing Form I-864, which is the Affidavit of Support form. However, you must demonstrate your financial ability to support the intending immigrant, which might involve providing financial documents.
  • Medical Examination Fee: The cost of the medical examination can vary based on the country and the designated physician. It’s advisable to contact approved medical facilities in the child’s home country to inquire about the current cost.
  • Additional Costs: Keep in mind that there might be additional costs related to obtaining required documents, such as birth certificates, police clearances, and photographs.

It’s important to note that visa fees can change, so I strongly recommend visiting the official website of the U.S. Department of State or the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate in the child’s home country for the most up-to-date and accurate information regarding fees. Additionally, consult with legal experts or immigration professionals to ensure you have a complete understanding of the costs involved in the IR-2 visa application process.

IR-2 checklist of required documents

While the specific checklist of required documents for an IR-2 visa application can vary depending on individual circumstances and the U.S. embassy or consulate where the application is being processed, here is a general list of documents that are commonly required for an IR-2 visa application:

  1. Passport: A valid passport for the child with at least six months of validity beyond the intended date of entry to the United States.
  2. Form DS-260: The Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application (Form DS-260) should be completed for the child. This form is accessible through the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website.
  3. Form I-130 Approval Notice: A copy of the Form I-130 approval notice received from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  4. Birth Certificate: The child’s original birth certificate or a certified copy, showing the names of both parents.
  5. Marriage Certificate: If applicable, a copy of the parents’ marriage certificate to prove the parent-child relationship.
  6. Police Clearance Certificate: Police clearance certificates from all countries the child has lived in for more than six months since the age of 16.
  7. Medical Examination Results: Results of the required medical examination conducted by an approved panel physician.
  8. Passport-Sized Photos: Passport-sized photos of the child that adhere to the U.S. visa photo requirements.
  9. Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): The U.S. citizen parent’s Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, demonstrating the parent’s ability to financially support the child.
  10. Financial Documents: Supporting financial documents, such as tax returns, pay stubs, and employment verification, to substantiate the information provided in Form I-864.
  11. Proof of Relationship: Additional documents to establish the parent-child relationship, such as school records, baptismal certificates, and family photos.
  12. Visa Application Fees: Payment receipts or proof of payment for visa application fees, as required by the U.S. embassy or consulate.
  13. Consular Interview Appointment Letter: Any correspondence or appointment letters received from the U.S. embassy or consulate regarding the interview.
  14. Court and Adoption Documents: If applicable, court documents related to child custody, guardianship, or adoption.
  15. Other Supporting Documents: Any additional documents requested by the U.S. embassy or consulate, based on their specific requirements.

Please note that this is a general checklist and actual requirements may vary. It’s crucial to consult the official website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where the child’s visa interview will be conducted for the most accurate and up-to-date information on required documents and procedures. Additionally, consider seeking guidance from legal professionals or immigration experts to ensure a smooth application process.

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