F2A VISA FOR SPOUSE OR CHILDREN UNDER 21
The F2A visa allows a Lawful Permanent Resident to petition and bring their spouse or unmarried children, under 21 years old to the U.S, and allows the foreign spouse or child to subsequently obtain their lawful permanent residence or “green-card.” While there is a limit to the number of Visas issued under this category, once the F2A Visa is approved, it allows the applicant(s) / beneficiary(s) to study, travel and live in the U.S.
The F2A visa category is considered a family “preference immigrant category” under the second preference which means that there is a waiting period and limit to the number of visas issued each year, and you must wait until your priority date becomes current before you apply. This waiting period depends on the immigrants’ country of birth.
The F2A Visa requires an extended waiting period due to the volume of applicants. At Tsang & Associates, we have a long history of helping families apply for this Visa and expeditiously file the petition to avoid unnecessary delays or prolonged waiting periods.
Our fee structure is unique to us as we strive to tailor our services for each client individually. We adapt price standards that are capable of fluctuating for each client depending on their unique needs. Clients may retain us for one or all of the above steps/services.
Our typical fee for a standard F2A petition is $1,500 , not including government fees and third-party expenses. We are happy to customize a proposal for yours during a consultation. Please see below for more information.
CASE PROCESSING OVERVIEW
Step 1: Strategy Session for the F-2A Visa
This is the most crucial step for your entire F2A Visa. We will review all of the supporting documents to create a strategy, a customized checklist, and a timeline to serve as the guiding foundation for the entire case preparation.
Step 2: Prepare and Submit the F-2A Visa Application along with the I-130 Application to USCIS
Our team will gather, complete, package, and ensure all the documents provided support your case to enhance your chances of getting approved.
Step 3: Await Approval of the I-130 Petition
Once the I-130 Petition is approved by USCIS, the case will be subsequently be transferred to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing.
Step 4: Await the priority date to apply and Submit the Required Documentation to the National Visa Center (NVC)
The F-2A visa is considered as a family-sponsored preference category visa, which means there will be a waiting period due to the limited number of visas that are expedited per year. Keep in mind that the preference category of your case should be available to apply, according to the NVC Visa Bulletin. Our team will explain to you how to monitor your case and check the availability to apply. Once the priority date becomes available, we will guide you throughout this process and ensure that the NVC has all the documentation needed to continue to process your case in a timely manner.
Checklist of Required Evidence
In general, the following documents are required:
- Valid passport
- Affidavit of support from the petitioner
- F4 visa application
- Two U.S. passport-approved photographs
- Completed medical examination and vaccination forms
- Civil documents
- Birth certificate or adoption certificate
- Any court records
- Certified copy of marriage certificate
- Military records, if any
- A photocopy of the biographic information page in their passport
- Police certificates for every country that they have lived in
The National Visa Center will inform you about any required vaccinations or medical records. A licensed doctor must complete the medical examination and give them the required vaccines. A list of necessary vaccinations is available on the U.S. Department of State’s website.
Who can apply for the F-2 Visa?
Foreign nationals can’t apply for an F2a visa directly. Instead, the permanent resident must file a petition on behalf of their spouse or children to come to the U.S.
To petition on behalf of your spouse or children, you must:
- be at least 18 years old
- reside in the U.S. and have a permanent registered address in the country
Your spouse or children must be able to provide all the necessary documents and must not be found ineligible.
There are multiple grounds of inadmissibility under U.S. immigration law. The major categories of inadmissibility include the following:
- Health and medical reasons
- Criminal convictions
- National security issues
- Likelihood to become a public charge
- Fraud or misrepresentation
- Prior removals or unlawful presence
- Miscellaneous grounds
The updated filing fee for F-2 can be found here.
SAMPLE & TEMPLATES
Attorney Brief: [coming soon] We will provide an attorney brief sample for the I-130 petition.
Cover Letter: [coming soon] We will also provide a cover letter sample for the I-130 petition.
Sample Request for Evidence: [coming soon] Requests for evidence can be used to strengthen the case.
Sample Checklist: [coming soon] We look at the client’s unique situation and create customized checklists to strengthen their cases.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How long is the F-2A visa application process?
The processing time for an F2a visa petition and application can take a long time due to the annual cap on the number of visas issued.
The processing time for an F2a visa petition and application can range from 1 – 10 years due to the annual cap on the number of visas issued.
What is the application cap for F-2A visas?
There are only 114,200 F2 visas available each year due to a cap. Seventy-seven percent of these visas are designated for F-2A visas. The remaining 23% are for F-2B visas.
The excess number of petitions are rolled over to subsequent years in chronological order until their priority dates become current. The U.S. Department of State publishes the cut-off dates for priority dates each month in the visa bulletin.
What happens when a permanent resident petitioner becomes a naturalized citizen?
In some cases, a long term permanent resident petitioning on behalf of their spouse and children might become a naturalized U.S. citizen during the process.
If this occurs in your case, your family should contact USCIS and the embassy in their country. They are now eligible for an immediate relative visa, which doesn’t have a cap on the number of applications accepted each year. This may accelerate the processing time for your visa.
What are the benefits of F-2A Visa holder?
An F-2A visa holder may:
- be authorized to live and work in the U.S. without having to secure an employment authorization document from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS)
- apply for a Social Security number and use that to get a job
- enroll in a school or a university to further their education
Does the F-2A visa apply for spouses of US Citizens in same-sex (LGBTQ) marriages or only heterosexual marriages?
On June 27, 2015, the Supreme Court of the United States finally ruled that same-sex couples can register to marry in all 50 states of the United States. Foreign spouses of same-sex marriages, like foreign spouses of heterosexual marriages, can obtain green card visas to enter the United States through relative immigration and enjoy the treatment of permanent residents. After meeting the corresponding conditions, they can apply for naturalization and become American citizens, enjoying the same benefits as American citizens.
The F-2A visa is issued to foreign spouses of permanent residents of the United States to reunite in the United States and to stay in the United States for a long time.
Since the legalization of same-sex marriage, our Tsang & Associates law firm has provided same-sex marriage immigrant visa services for many US citizens/permanent residents and their foreign spouses, building bridges and helping clients end their days of looking at each other.
I am a U.S. citizen/lawful permanent resident in a legal marriage to a foreign national of the same sex. Can I apply for an immigrant visa for a same-sex couple?
Yes. You can file an I-130 application to apply for an F-2A or IR-1/CR-1 visa for a same-sex partner; after that, the final approval of the immigrant visa or adjustment of status application depends on whether you and your same-sex partner qualify for the immigration visa. Requests are not denied because you are in a same-sex marriage.
Can I only apply for adjustment of status if the immigrant petition filed by a U.S. citizen for a same-sex spouse is approved?
No. U.S. citizens can apply directly for same-sex spouses at the same time (Concurrent Filing), that is, submit immigration and adjustment of status applications at the same time.
I am a US citizen and I am engaged but not yet married to a same-sex partner and we intend to get married in the US, can I apply for a green card?
You cannot directly apply for a green card. Only US citizens can submit the I-129F form for foreign same-sex couples to apply for a K-1 visa. Foreign same-sex couples can enter the United States after obtaining a K-1 visa and marry a U.S. citizen within 90 days of entering the United States. Only then can U.S. citizens apply for green cards for foreign same-sex spouses.
I am a U.S. citizen who has filed an I-130 petition for a same-sex spouse, but they are now outside the United States. Can a same-sex spouse come to live in the U.S. while the I-130 petition is pending?
Yes. Once the U.S. citizen submits the I-130 application, the foreign spouse can apply for a non-immigrant K-3 visa. After obtaining the K-3 visa, the foreign spouse can live and work in the United States. It should be noted that the K-3 visa is only a method to allow foreign spouses to enter the United States faster, not an immigrant visa.
What steps will the USCIS take if they suspect that a foreigner is marrying for the purpose of immigrating? What are the penalties for fake marriages?
The US Customs and Immigration Services may go to the residence to investigate, ask the neighbors about the marriage, and also has the right to investigate the visa application to verify the authenticity of the marriage. Both spouses may also be asked to attend the interview together. It is also possible to question both persons separately in order to discover contradictions in the statements. Fake marriages in order to meet immigration conditions are subject to a fine of up to $250,000 or imprisonment for up to 5 years, or both.
SCHEDULE A SESSION
Call or email us to set up your 1-hour consultation. Easily pay the $250 consultation fee over the phone or through our email link. If you would like to have a quick chat with our team before setting up the consultation, feel free to use the calendar on the right to book your 10 minute call.