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The F2B visa allows unmarried children (over 21 years old) of U.S. green card holders to obtain permanent residency under the Family Preference category. The F2b category is a component of the broader family-sponsored preference program, which permits citizens and permanent residents of the United States to sponsor specific family members for immigration to the country to foster family togetherness. In this article, we will explore essential elements, the steps of filing for an F2b visa, and the benefits of hiring a lawyer for an F2b visa.
Steps to Apply for the F2b Visa
The F2b visa application process is a multi-step process that is required for family-sponsored immigration visas in the United States. The following are the steps in filing for an F2b visa:
- File Petition. While initiating the process, the sponsoring green card holder files Form I-130 with USCIS to establish the parent-child relationship for the unmarried adult child beneficiary. Supporting documents verifying the relationship must accompany the petition.
- Assign Priority Date. The Form I-130 petition will be assigned a priority date by USCIS upon receipt. The beneficiary's position on the immigration visa waiting list is indicated by their priority date.
- Keep Visa Bulletin Updates. The sponsored child needs to keep an eye on the Visa Bulletin to determine when their priority date advances, implying that a visa for immigration fits their category.
- Make Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. The beneficiary may apply for an immigrant visa by filling out Form DS-260, the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application, online via the Consular Electronic Application Centre (CEAC) after their priority date becomes current.
- Expedite Fees Payment. The beneficiary must pay the application fee for the visa and provide all relevant paperwork, such as the DS-260 confirmation page, a passport-sized photo, and any further evidence that the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country may seek.
- Attend the Visa Interview. The beneficiary proceeds to a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country after submitting the DS-260 application and completing the required medical examination. During this interview, a consular officer assesses the beneficiary's eligibility for an immigration visa.
- Receive the Green Card. The beneficiary will receive their green card (Form I-551) through the mail shortly after arriving in the country, formally awarding them status as lawful permanent residents.
Key Components of the F2b Visa
The F2b visa is a type of family-supported immigrant visa in the US that has several necessary components and prerequisites for the sponsored unmarried adult child (the beneficiary) as well as the sponsoring permanent resident (the petitioner). The following are the main components of the F2b visa category:
- Sponsorship of Permanent Resident: The petitioner must be an American citizen having a valid permanent residence (green card holder). Under the F2b category, U.S. citizens cannot sponsor their adult, single children.
- Relationship: The beneficiary must be the adult, single son, or daughter of the permanent resident financing the program. This relationship needs to be formalized and recorded as per the law.
- Consular Processing: Upon filing Form DS-260 and setting up a visa interview, F2b visa holders normally proceed through a consular processing phase. This means physically attending an interview at the American consulate or embassy in their home country.
- Fees for Immigrant Visas: Applicants must cover various F2b visa fees, like the application and potential visa issuance fees. The U.S. embassy provides payment instructions, which may change with any amendment in Visa policy.
- Age-Out Protection: Recipients soon turning 21 should be mindful of possible "age-out" situations. The beneficiary may lose eligibility and be moved to a different visa category if they age out while they are waiting for their F2b visa.
- Visa Validity: The immigrant visa granted to F2b beneficiaries is only valid for a certain amount of time, often six months. This implies that beneficiaries have to enter the country within the allotted period.
- Sustaining Permanent Residency: F2b recipients must be informed of the necessities, such as residency and tax duties, to sustain their permanent resident status after arriving in the United States. To keep their green card status intact, it is imperative that they comprehend these obligations.
Documents Required for the F2b Visa
Various documentation must be included with each application for an F2b visa. These consist of:
- Form I-130, Alien Relative Petition: The qualifying relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary is established by this form, which is filed by the sponsoring lawful permanent resident (holder of a green card).
- Birth Certificates or Adoption Certificates: The certificates attest to the parent-child relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary. Provide the necessary adoption records and paperwork if the beneficiary was adopted.
- Form DS-260: Electronic Application for Immigrant Visa Utilizing the Consular Electronic Application Centre (CEAC), complete the DS-260 form online.
- Form I-864, Affidavit of Support: The petitioner must file an Affidavit of Support attesting to their capacity to provide the beneficiary with financial support above the federal poverty guidelines.
- Form I-864A: Affidavit of Support: This form must be submitted if a shared sponsor provides financial assistance.
- Passports: Enclose copies of the beneficiaries and the passports of any dependent relatives.
- Photographs: Provide passport-sized pictures of the beneficiary and any relatives who are traveling with them.
- Police Clearance Certificate: A police clearance certificate may be required to verify the beneficiary's criminal-free status, depending on the regulations of the consulate and the beneficiary's home country.
- Medical Examination: Beneficiaries must have a medical examination performed by a panel physician who has been approved to ensure they meet the necessary health conditions.
- Visa Bulletin: Evidence of keeping an eye on the Visa Bulletin to determine when the priority date changes.
- Evidence of Financial Support: Tax returns, employment records, bank statements, and other financial records should be provided by the petitioner to bolster their Affidavit of Support.
- Documentation of Dual Nationality: Provide the necessary paperwork if the beneficiary is a dual national.
- Consular Processing Documents: Any paperwork that the US embassy or consulate, where the visa interview will be held, requires.
Key Terms for F2b Visas
- Visa Bulletin: A monthly publication by the U.S. Department of State that indicates the availability of immigrant visas for different preference categories, including F2b.
- Consular Processing: The process of applying for an immigrant visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate in the beneficiary's home country after the priority date becomes current.
- Age-Out: The possibility that a beneficiary who is a youngster will turn 21 and leave the F2b category before the priority date is up to date.
- Green Card: The official document that confirms a person's status as a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- Derivative Beneficiary: The principal beneficiary's unmarried minor children who may be listed on the F2b visa application.
Final Thoughts on F2b Visas
The F2b visa category is a valuable avenue that permits lawful permanent residents (green card holders) to sponsor their single adult children for permanent residency in the country. There are numerous noteworthy advantages to this family-sponsored immigration visa category for both the families and the recipients. These advantages include the chance for families to reside together in the United States, access to jobs and educational opportunities, the route to naturalization, and the availability of public services like healthcare.
Employing an immigration lawyer can offer helpful support, guaranteeing compliance with intricate immigration regulations, customized plan development, and advice on legal needs and documentation. While the application process may involve waiting periods and complexities, the end result is often the reunification of families, the opportunity for beneficiaries to build a new life in the United States, and the enrichment of the nation's diverse tapestry of families and communities.
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