August 16, 2021. 
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U.S. Child Visa: Useful Tips and How to Apply

Time spent with our family is precious. When distance separates us and our loved ones, we come to realize that there's nothing in this world that can replace them. It is especially difficult if they live abroad and we don’t get to see them as often. Even if borders are in the way, families should not be split. If you are a U.S. citizen and you want to bring your daughter or son from another country to live (and work) in the United States, you will have to start the IR2 visa application process.

What is an IR2 visa?

IR2 visa is a family-based immigrant visa for unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens. If your daughter or son is under 18 years old when they enter the U.S., they are immediately granted citizenship. In case your child is older than 18, they receive a green card. Once your child comes to the United States, they can attend school and continue their studies. With a green card, they can also work in the U.S. without an Employment Authorization Document (EAD). What’s also great about the IR2 visa is that it doesn’t have an annual cap which means that if your child meets the visa requirements, they can obtain their visa right away. Typically, an IR2 visa is processed within 3 to 12 months.

Is my child eligible for an IR2 visa?

According to the U.S. immigration law, the term child does not only refer to biological children. In the immigration process, the following categories meet the eligibility requirements:

  • children born in wedlock;
  • children born out of wedlock;
  • stepchildren;
  • adopted children.

In all of these cases, your child must be unmarried, under the age of 21, and a citizen of a foreign country. Married children of U.S. citizens may qualify for a different visa, since they don’t have the status of a “child”. We recommend you reach out to an immigration consultant and lawyer to get expert advice for your particular situation.

In case your child was born out of wedlock and the father is petitioning, legitimation is required in accordance with the laws of your place of residence. This means that the father, if he is the U.S. sponsor, must undergo a blood test to prove his paternity.

A stepchild who was under the age of 18 when their parents married is also eligible for an IR2 visa.

When it comes to adopted children, they had to have lived with their adoptive U.S. citizen parent for a minimum of two years. At the time of adoption, your child had to be under the age of 18 in order to be eligible. This means that as the petitioner, you’ll have to submit the evidence that you had two years of both legal and physical custody of a child.

Note: If the child’s biological parents are no longer married, they must submit evidence of the legal termination of their marriage either through death, divorce, or annulment. In the case of step-parents, they must submit evidence of the legal termination of their previous marriage(s).

Useful tips

  • Only children who are 14 years old or older must appear in person for an interview.
  • If your child is under 16 years of age, one of the parents or accompanying persons should be present at the visa interview with their passports.
  • As a U.S. petitioner, you’ll have to meet the income requirements to prove that you’re able to financially support your child. In order to see whether you qualify, check out the free income calculator and get an answer in less than 1 minute.

Child visa application process

The first step in the process is to fill out the petition and submit it to the USCIS. After petition approval, your child must apply at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in their home country. You’ll have to fill out the forms, pay the fees, and gather supporting documents. This can be a tedious process, and incorrect forms are often rejected which results in visa denial. VisaExpress immigration consultants are here to help you avoid that scenario.

We help you unite with your family and provide information regarding each step of the child visa application process. Complicated official procedures might scare you off and once you start the application, new questions may arise. Our customer service representatives are here to answer any of your questions and concerns.

You can reach out to us and pick a preferred date for your consultation with one of our immigration agents today! We are here to review your eligibility and guide you through the entire immigration process.

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