What is an F2A Visa?
An F2A visa is a type of immigration visa for the spouse and minor children of a lawful permanent resident (LPR) of the United States. The LPR sponsor needs to be a lawful permanent resident and the foreign national spouse and minor children need to be outside of the United States. This type of visa allows the spouse and minor children to come to the United States and apply for a green card (lawful permanent residence) once in the U.S.
To apply for an F2A visa, the LPR sponsor must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative on behalf of their spouse and minor children. Once the Form I-130 is approved, the spouse and minor children can then apply for an F2A visa at a U.S. embassy or consulate abroad.
It’s important to note that the F2A visa category is subject to quotas and has a waiting time.
Who Qualifies for F2A Visa?
The F2A visa category is for the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs). In order to qualify for an F2A visa, the following criteria must be met:
- The applicant must be the spouse or minor child (under 21 years of age) of an LPR.
- The LPR sponsor must have filed an I-130 petition for the applicant.
- The applicant must be admissible to the United States, meaning they do not have any disqualifying criminal or security-related issues.
- The applicant must pass a medical examination and obtain a visa medical examination.
- The applicant must provide all required documentation, such as a valid passport, birth certificate, and proof of relationship to the LPR sponsor.
How to Apply for F2A Visa?
To apply for an F2A visa, you will need to follow these steps:
- Gather all necessary documents, including a valid passport, two passport-style photos, proof of financial support, and any other supporting documents required by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- Your LPR sponsor must file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on your behalf with the USCIS. They will also need to pay the appropriate fee.
- Wait for the Form I-130 to be approved by the USCIS. This can take several months to several years, depending on the workload of the USCIS and the applicant’s country of origin.
- Once the Form I-130 is approved and a visa is available, the National Visa Center (NVC) will contact the sponsor and advise him/her to submit the Affidavit of Support and pay the visa processing fee.
- Complete the online visa application (DS-260) and pay the visa application fee for each applicant.
- Schedule an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. You will need to bring all original documents, including your Form I-130, to the interview.
- Attend the interview and answer any questions the consular officer may have.
- Wait for a decision on your visa application. If approved, you will be issued an F2A visa, which will allow you and your minor children to enter the U.S. as the spouse and minor children of a LPR.
What is the F2A Visa Interview Process?
The F2A visa interview process is for individuals who are seeking to enter the United States as the spouse or minor child of a lawful permanent resident (LPR). The process typically includes the following steps:
- Submit a visa application: You will need to fill out an online application form, pay a fee, and submit any required documentation.
- Schedule an interview: Once your application has been reviewed, you will be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country.
- Attend the interview: You will be required to bring certain documents to the interview, including a valid passport and the original copy of the Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) that was filed on your behalf by your LPR sponsor.
- Wait for a decision: After the interview, the consular officer will review your application and make a decision on your visa. You will be notified of the decision by mail.
- Medical examination: Before the final decision is made, the applicant is required to pass a medical examination and obtain a visa medical examination.
- Submit additional documents if required.
What are the Required Documents for F2A Visa?
The required documents for an F2A visa include:
- A valid passport for each applicant: Passports must be valid for at least six months beyond your planned date of entry into the United States.
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative: This form must be completed and signed by the LPR sponsor and filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before the visa can be issued.
- Two passport-style photos for each applicant: The photos must meet the U.S. Department of State’s requirements for passport photos.
- DS-260, Online Visa Application: This form must be completed online and a confirmation page must be printed and brought to the visa interview for each applicant.
- Visa application fee: You will be required to pay a non-refundable visa application fee for each applicant before your visa interview.
- Evidence of the relationship with the sponsor: This may include marriage certificate and birth certificates for the children.
- Additional Supporting documents: You may be required to submit additional documents, such as police certificates, and proof of financial support for each applicant.
- Proof of financial support: You will be required to demonstrate that you will have sufficient financial support during your stay in the United States.
What is the F2A Visa Fee?
The F2A visa fee is a fee that is required to be paid when applying for an F2A visa, which is for the spouses and minor children of lawful permanent residents (LPRs).
As of 2021, the F2A visa fee is $325. This fee is for the visa application fee (Form I-130) and is paid by the sponsor (the LPR). There is also an additional fee of $85 for biometrics services, which is paid by the applicant.
What is the F2A Visa Processing Time?
The processing time for an F2A visa can vary depending on several factors, including the workload of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and the U.S. embassy or consulate where you apply. Additionally, F2A visa category is subject to quotas and has a waiting time. Processing times can also fluctuate depending on how many people are applying for visas at the same time, and whether additional security checks are required.
Generally speaking, the processing time for an F2A visa can take several months to several years from start to finish. After the Form I-130, (Petition for Alien Relative) is filed with the USCIS, it can take several months to several years for the petition to be approved. Once the Form I-130 is approved and a visa is available, it will be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) where the visa application process will continue. It can take several months to several years for the NVC to process the case and for the visa application to be processed and for a decision to be made on your application.
It’s recommended to check the official website of the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you plan to apply for the most up-to-date processing time information. Additionally, some embassies or consulates offer expedited service for an additional fee, which can shorten the processing time. However, it’s not guaranteed that expediting the process will shorten the wait time for the F2A visa category. Also, you can check the Visa Bulletin for the monthly updates on the availability of the visa numbers for the F2A category.
F2A Visa Frequently Asked Questions
Here are some frequently asked questions about the F2A visa:
- Who is eligible for an F2A visa?
A: An F2A visa is for the spouses and minor children (under 21 years of age) of lawful permanent residents (LPRs)
- How long does it take to process an F2A visa?
A: The processing time for an F2A visa can vary depending on the workload of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you are applying, but generally it takes several months. It’s best to check with the specific embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information on processing times.
- Can I work with an F2A visa?
A: F2A visa holders are authorized to work in the United States, after they have been admitted to the U.S and obtained their work permit, also known as Employment Authorization Document (EAD)
- Can I bring my dependents with me on an F2A visa?
A: F2A visa holder dependents will be able to apply for their own F2A visas and travel with the primary visa holder to the United States.
- Can I apply for permanent residence while on an F2A visa?
A: Yes, you can apply for permanent residence while in the United States on an F2A visa. However, it is important to note that this process can take several years and it does not guarantee that you will be approved for permanent residence.
- Is there an age limit for F2A visa applicants?
A: The age limit for F2A visa applicants is 21 years old and under.