The F2A category in U.S. family immigration refers to a specific preference category for family-sponsored immigrants. The U.S. immigration system categorizes family-sponsored immigrants into different preference categories, and F2A is one of them. Specifically, F2A is for the spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) of lawful permanent residents (Green Card holders).
In the family-sponsored immigration system, there are different preference categories (F1, F2A, F2B, F3, and F4) based on the relationship of the intending immigrant to the U.S. citizen or Green Card holder sponsoring them. The F2A category is reserved for the spouses and unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Green Card holders.
It’s important to note that the availability of immigrant visas in each preference category is subject to numerical limits, and the demand for visas often exceeds the available supply. This can lead to waiting times for visa processing in certain categories. Individuals in the F2A category may need to wait for visa numbers to become available before they can proceed with their immigration process.
Which immigrants are included in the F2A category?
The F2A category includes two groups of family-sponsored immigrants:
- Spouses of Lawful Permanent Residents (Green Card holders): The F2A category allows for the immigration of spouses of Green Card holders. These individuals are legally married to someone who holds permanent residency in the United States.
- Unmarried Children (Under 21) of Lawful Permanent Residents: The F2A category also covers the unmarried children (under 21 years old) of Green Card holders. These are the children of Green Card holders who have not yet reached the age of 21 and are not married.
Both spouses and unmarried children under 21 of Green Card holders fall under the F2A preference category. It’s important to note that there are numerical limits on the available immigrant visas for each preference category, and this can impact the timing of the immigration process for individuals in the F2A category. Waiting times may be involved as the demand for visas may exceed the available supply.
How to apply for a F2A green card?
Applying for an F2A Green Card involves a multi-step process. Here is a general overview of the steps:
- The sponsoring Green Card holder must be a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
- The beneficiary must be the spouse or unmarried child (under 21 years old) of the Green Card holder.
- File Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative:
- The Green Card holder must file Form I-130 with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- This form establishes the qualifying relationship between the Green Card holder and the beneficiary (spouse or child).
- Wait for USCIS Approval:
- USCIS will review the petition and, if approved, will send a Notice of Approval to the petitioner (Green Card holder).
- Wait for Visa Availability:
- The F2A category has numerical limits, and there may be a waiting period for visa numbers to become available. Check the Visa Bulletin published by the U.S. Department of State to track visa availability.
- File Form DS-261, Online Choice of Address and Agent:
- Once a visa number is available, the beneficiary must complete Form DS-261 online to choose an address for communication.
- Pay Fees:
- Pay the required visa fees as outlined by the National Visa Center (NVC).
- Submit Affidavit of Support:
- The Green Card holder (petitioner) needs to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate financial ability to support the beneficiary.
- Complete Visa Application (DS-260):
- The beneficiary must complete the online immigrant visa application (Form DS-260).
- Attend Medical Examination:
- Undergo a medical examination by an approved panel physician.
- Attend Visa Interview:
- The beneficiary will be scheduled for a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country.
- Receive Visa:
- If the visa is approved, the beneficiary will receive an immigrant visa on their passport.
- Travel to the U.S.:
- After receiving the visa, the beneficiary can travel to the United States.
- Pay USCIS Immigrant Fee:
- After arrival in the U.S., the beneficiary must pay the USCIS immigrant fee online.
- Receive Green Card:
- The Green Card will be mailed to the beneficiary’s U.S. address.