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The F3 visa permits married children of U.S. citizens to immigrate to the country under current family-based immigration laws. The petitioner must file a legal authorization document to be eligible for an F3 visa. The beneficiary, the married child, or any family member can apply for the F3 visa. Its application process is a bit different than that of employment or dependent visas. However, it includes common beneficiaries, and spouses or children are among them. Let us know more about the visa application process and other important details below.
Steps to Apply for the F3 Visa
The application process for the F3 visa is longer than that of the other visa categories. It includes the following steps in the present context:
- Complete the Petition. The process begins when the sponsoring citizen parent completes the immigrant visa petition. It further happens on behalf of the married child. It is after that the applicant submits the document to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). This petition shows the relationship and the sponsor's intention to reunite with their married child in the United States.
- Undertake the Processing of the Petition. The USCIS will review and process the application after receiving it post-approval. They will transfer the application as well as related documents to the National Visa Center (NVC). However, this happens only after the said petition is accepted and approved. This transfer is an important step because it initiates the journey towards getting the F3 visa in the country.
- Wait and Follow the Instructions. The authorities will assemble a list of instructions and documents once the NVC receives the case. This packet shall be sent to the foreign applicants. It mostly includes the married child and their immediate family members. The instructions within this list of documents provide detailed information about the subsequent steps in the F3 visa application process.
- Wait for an Application Spot. The F3 visa category is subject to numerical limitations. So, the applicants may need to wait for an available visa slot. The waiting time can depend on factors such as the applicant's home country and the demand for F3 visas. Applicants should monitor the visa bulletin issued by the Department of State in the U.S. to determine when a visa slot becomes available for their category.
- Complete Form DS-260. Applicants are required to complete Form DS-260, the Online Immigrant Visa Application, once a visa slot becomes available. This form collects important information about the applicant and their accompanying family members. It is submitted electronically, and the details are used for the visa processing.
- Take Medical Examinations. The applicants, as well as their family members, must undergo a medical examination. However, a panel physician must approve the entire process. It is a very important part of the visa application for everyone. This examination ensures that the applicants meet the health requirements for immigration to the United States. Moreover, the medical examination also helps administer all kinds of necessary vaccinations.
- Compile Required Documents. Applicants must gather and compile all necessary documents to support their visa application. These documents can include birth certificates, marriage certificates, police clearances, financial affidavits, and other supporting evidence. It shows the family relationship and the financial capability to support the family in the United States.
- Attend the Visa Interview. Applicants must attend as a part of the given schedule. The visa interview will happen at the embassy or consulate in their home country. After submitting Form DS-260 and providing the required documents, the person has to go for it. During the interview, a consular officer will assess the applicant's eligibility for the F3 visa.
- Receive the NVC Packet. The NVC will provide a visa packet to the applicant upon the successful completion of the visa interview and the approval of the F3 visa. This packet contains important information as well as travel instructions. The beneficiary and their family members can then make plans to travel to the United States to join their citizen parents with the F3 visa in hand.
Eligibility Criteria for the F3 Visa
The requirements that are to be fulfilled for an F3 visa in the United States are not exhaustive. Yet, the interested individuals must be aware of the following prerequisites. The following are associated with the F3 visa application category in the country:
- The person must prove citizenship in the U.S. through relevant documents.
- The age limit is 21 years for the specific applicant of this visa.
- A married person must produce a valid marriage certificate to be eligible.
Sponsor Requirements for the F3 Visa
Sponsoring a child or spouse must complete the petition for the family member. However, an individual must also fulfill the following criteria to be eligible to become a sponsor:
- The person must be a citizen of the country or have an adult child residing in the U.S.
- The same individual should also have a valid American residential address.
Required Documents for the F3 Visa
The documents for an F3 visa are similar to those of the other family preference visas in the United States. The applicant’s document file must contain the following:
- Passports for all the family members are valid for more than six months after the applicant’s entry to the United States
- Medical examination and vaccination documents
- Form DS-260 confirmation page
- Signed Affidavit of Support from the sponsor in the U.S.
- Two photos for each individual for the visa process
- A valid marriage certificate
- Birth certificates or adoption documents of the children
- Any court or criminal records
- A divorce certificate or certificate of death to prove that the marriage has been terminated
- Military records if the person has served the armed forces
Fees Associated with the F3 Visa
An individual must consider several costs when applying for an F3 visa. Here is a look at them:
- Petition for Alien Relative
- Processing Fee for Form DS-260
- Medical Examination Fees
- Vaccination Fees
- Fees for Translation of Documents if They are not in English
- USCIS Immigrant Fee
Key Terms for F3 Visas
- Preference Category: The category under which the F3 visa is reserved for married children of citizens, which allows them to immigrate to the United States.
- Visa Bulletin: The Visa Bulletin is a monthly publication by the U.S. Department of State that provides information on visa availability, including F3 category waiting times for different countries.
- Immigrant Petition: This is the initial application filed by a U.S. citizen parent on behalf of their married child to initiate the F3 visa process.
- DS-260 Form: An online application that F3 visa applicants must complete to provide personal information and background details as part of their visa application.
- Priority Date: The particular date on which a citizen parent from the U.S. files an immigrant petition on behalf of the married child. It helps determine the applicant's place in the visa queue, including their eligibility for the document.
Final Thoughts on F3 Visas
The F3 Visa, a family-sponsored immigrant visa for married children of U.S. citizens, serves as a bridge for family reunification. This process involves a series of steps, from the initial immigrant petition to the consular interview, and often necessitates patience due to numerical limitations. Nevertheless, the F3 Visa offers a path for families to be together in the United States, emphasizing the enduring commitment to family unity within the U.S. immigration system.
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