Navigating the IR-2 Child Visa Application Process: Step by Step

IR-2 visa is a type of immigrant visa that is issued to unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens. The “IR” stands for “Immediate Relative,” and the “2” indicates the specific category for unmarried children of U.S. citizens.

IR-2 visas are part of the family-based immigration category, and they allow the child of a U.S. citizen to immigrate to the United States as a permanent resident. Once the child with an IR-2 visa enters the United States, they typically receive a green card (Form I-551) and are granted permanent resident status. This allows them to live and work in the United States, attend school, and eventually apply for U.S. citizenship if they meet the eligibility requirements.

How to apply for an IR-2 visa?

Applying for an IR-2 visa for your unmarried child under the age of 21 involves several steps. Keep in mind that U.S. immigration processes and requirements can change, so it’s essential to consult the official website of the U.S. Department of State or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for the most up-to-date information and instructions. Here is a general overview of the process:

  • Petition Filing:
    • The first step in the process is for the U.S. citizen parent to file a Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) on behalf of their child. The U.S. citizen must establish the qualifying relationship as a parent. This form is typically filed with USCIS.
  • USCIS Review:
    • USCIS will review the Form I-130 to determine if the relationship is valid and the U.S. citizen parent is eligible to sponsor their child. Once approved, USCIS will send a Notice of Action (Form I-797) to the petitioner.
  • Visa Application:
    • After USCIS approves the I-130 petition, the case is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. The NVC will provide instructions on how to pay the visa application fees and submit the required documentation.
  • Complete Affidavit of Support:
    • The U.S. citizen parent must complete an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate their ability to financially support their child as an immigrant.
  • Gather Required Documents:
    • The child, or their parent if the child is too young, will need to gather the necessary documents, including the DS-260 immigrant visa application, civil documents such as birth certificates, passport photos, and other supporting evidence.
  • Medical Examination:
    • The child will be required to undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
  • Attend Visa Interview:
    • The child will attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. They should bring all required documents, including the visa application fee receipt.
  • Visa Issuance:
    • If approved, the child will receive the IR-2 visa, allowing them to travel to the United States. The visa may be issued with a single entry or multiple entries, depending on the circumstances.
  • Entry to the United States:
    • Once the child enters the United States with the IR-2 visa, they become a permanent resident and receive a green card (Form I-551).

IR-2 visa checklist of documents

When applying for an IR-2 visa for your unmarried child under the age of 21, you will need to provide a set of required documents to support the visa application. Here is a general checklist of documents that are typically needed:

  • Passport: A valid passport for the child with at least six months of validity beyond the intended date of entry to the United States.
  • Visa Application Form: DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application, should be completed and submitted online.
  • Visa Application Fee: Proof of payment for the visa application fee.
  • Birth Certificate: The child’s original birth certificate. If it’s not in English, you may need to provide a certified translation.
  • Marriage Certificate (if applicable): If either parent has been married more than once, provide all relevant marriage certificates and evidence of the termination of prior marriages.
  • Police Certificates: If the child is 16 years of age or older, they may be required to provide police certificates from all countries where they have lived for six months or longer since the age of 16.
  • Medical Examination: The child must undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician. The results and documentation from the medical examination should be provided.
  • Affidavit of Support: Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, completed and signed by the U.S. citizen parent who is sponsoring the child. This form demonstrates the ability to financially support the child as an immigrant.
  • Financial Documentation: Supporting financial evidence, such as tax returns, W-2 forms, and bank statements, to prove the sponsor’s income and financial stability.
  • Passport Photos: Recent passport-sized photos of the child meeting specific photo requirements.
  • Proof of Relationship: Evidence of the parent-child relationship, which may include photos, correspondence, or other documents that show the bona fide relationship.
  • Visa Interview Appointment Letter: A copy of the interview appointment letter issued by the U.S. embassy or consulate.
  • Visa Processing Fee Receipt: Proof of payment for the visa processing fee (if applicable).
  • Other Supporting Documents: Any additional documents that the embassy or consulate specifically requests as part of the visa application process.

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