IR2 Visa for Child

Updated on 07/03/2022

Parents want the best for their children.

One area where parents may want to help their children concerns U.S. immigration.

It could be that they want their children to be able to reside in the United States.

It could be that they want their children to be able to work in the United States.

It could be that they want their children to be able to realize other benefits in the United States, such as financial assistance for education (including financial aid and lower tuition).

Your child can realize these and other benefits by obtaining an IR2 visa.

This article discusses the subject of IR2 visa.

IR2 VISA

IR2 Visa as Green Card for Child

The IR2 visa is a green card in the U.S. immigration system for certain qualifying children. 

With a green card, a child can permanently reside in the United States, permanently work in the United States, and obtain financial assistance for education (including financial aid and lower tuition).  In addition, a green card can give a child the right to receive certain Federal and state government benefits in the United States (including Social Security), the right to more easily travel to and from the United States, and the right to sponsor other family members for a green cardi.  

The IR2 visa gets its name from its status for U.S. immigration purposes.

The “IR” part of the name means that the IR2 visa is an “immediate relative” green card.  Immediate relative green cards are not subject to annual quotas.  As such, immediate relative green cards are easier to obtain than other types of green cards.

The “2” part of the name means that the IR2 visa is the second type of immediate relative green card.  IR2 visas can be distinguished from the other types of “IR” visas – IR1 visas (for the spouse of a U.S. citizen), IR3 visas (for an orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen), IR4 visas (for an orphan to be adopted in the United States by a U.S. citizen), and IR5 visas (for parents of a U.S. citizen who is at least 21 years old).

Eligibility for IR2 Visa

What are the eligibility requirements for IR2 visas?

General Requirements

There are four general requirements to be eligible for an IR2 visa.  Simply stated, IR2 visas are available for (i) unmarried (ii) children (iii) under 21 years of age (iv) of a U.S. citizen.

If the child is married (known in U.S. immigration terms as a “son” or “daughter”), the child cannot qualify for an IR2 visa.  However, as described below, such child may be eligible for a certain “family preference” green card.

If the child is 21 years of age or older (also known in U.S. immigration terms as a “son” or “daughter”), the child cannot qualify for an IR2 visa.  However, as described below, such child may be eligible for a certain “family preference” green card.

If the child’s parent is not a U.S. citizen, the child cannot qualify for an IR2 visa.  However, as described below, such child may be eligible for a certain “family preference” green card.

Qualifying Child

The key issue in qualifying for an IR2 visa is whether there is a qualifying child.  In addition to being unmarried and under 21 years of age (as described above), the child must be:

  • A genetic child born in wedlock;
  • A genetic child born out of wedlock and either (a) the mother is petitioning, (b) the father is petitioning and the parent-child relationship has been legitimated in accordance with the laws of the father’s or the child’s place of residenceprior to the child’s 18th birthday, or (c) the father is petitioning, the parent-child relationship has not been legitimated under applicable laws prior to the child’s 18th birthday, and a bona fide parent-child relationship existed prior to the child’s 21st birthday and while the child was unmarried;
  • A child born through Assisted Reproductive Technology to a non-genetic gestational mother who is recognized under the law of the relevant jurisdiction as the child’s legal parent at the time of the child’s birth;
  • A step-child, as long as the marriage creating the step-relationship occurred before the child turned 18 years of age; or
  • An adopted child if the child was adopted before age 16 (before age 18 if the child is the birth sibling of another child who was adopted by the same parent(s) before the other child’s 16th birthday and who immigrated either (a) through the family-based petition process, or (b) as an orphan based on an adoption by the same parent(s)), and the adoptive parent has satisfied two-year legal custody and joint residence requirements.

How to Obtain an IR2 Visa?

As with all green card applications, a specific procedure must be followed to obtain an IR2 visa.

Filing of Form I-130

The first step in an IR2 visa application is to prepare and file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. 

Form I-130 is prepared and filed by the sponsoring U.S. citizen parent, known as the “Petitioner”, for the child, known as the “Beneficiary”. Form I-130 is filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (“USCIS”).

Documents to Submit with Form I-130

With the Form I-130, it is necessary to also submit certain documents, including:

  • To prove the Petitioner’s U.S. citizenship, such as a copy of a birth certificate showing that the Petitioner was born in the United States, a copy of a naturalization certificate or certificate of citizenship issued by USCIS,a copy of Form FS-240, Consular Report of Birth Abroad, a copy of an unexpired U.S. passport, or an original statement from a U.S. consular officer verifying that the Petitioner is a U.S. citizen with a valid passport;
  • To prove that the Petitioner is the Beneficiary’s mother, if applicable, a copy of the Beneficiary’s birth certificate showing the names of the Petitioner and the Beneficiary;
  • To generally prove that the Petitioner is the Beneficiary’s father, if applicable, copies of the Beneficiary’s birth certificate showing both parents’ names and the Petitioner’s marriage certificate or divorce paper to the Beneficiary’s mother, and proof of the legal termination of the parents’ prior marriages, if any;
  • To prove, when the Beneficiary was born out of wedlock, that the Petitioner is the Beneficiary’s father, if applicable,evidence that either (a) the parent-child relationship has been legitimated in accordance with the laws of the Petitioner’s or the Beneficiary’s place of residence prior to the Beneficiary’s 18th birthday, or (b) if the parent-child relationship has not been legitimated under applicable laws prior to the Beneficiary’s 18th birthday, a bona fide parent-child relationship existed prior to the Beneficiary’s 21st birthday and while the Beneficiary was unmarried(including evidence that the Petitioner lived with the Beneficiary, supported the Beneficiary, or otherwise showed continuing parental interest in the Beneficiary’s welfare);
  • To prove a stepparent-stepchild relationship, if applicable, copies of the marriage certificate of the Petitioner stepparent to the Beneficiary’s natural parent showing that the marriage occurred before the Beneficiary turned 18 years of age, documents showing that any prior marriages were legally terminated (if applicable), and the Beneficiary’s birth certificate; or
  • To prove a parent-child relationship based on adoption, if applicable, copies of the adoption decree showing that the adoption took place before the Beneficiary turned 16 years of age (if based on the adoption of a birth sibling before the other child’s 16th birthday, a copy of the adoption decree showing that the adoption took place before the Beneficiary turned 18 years of age), and evidence that the Beneficiary was in the legal custody of and resided with the parents who adopted the Beneficiary for at least two years.

If other forms of evidence prove inconclusive, the Petitioner may submit on a voluntary basis other evidence of a birth parent and a birth-child relationship, including DNA testing.

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Processing of an IR2 Visa

After the Form I-130 is filed, the processing of an IR2 visa will follow two different paths based on whether the child is then residing outside of the United States or in the United States.

If the child is residing outside of the United States, the IR2 visa is subject to consular processing. With consular processing, if USCIS approves the Form I-130, USCIS then sends the approved Form I-130 to the U.S. Department of State’s National Visa Center (“NVC”).  NVC will issue the child’s case a visa number and send the case to the applicable U.S. embassy or consulate in the country where the child is living.  As described above, unlike with other green card applications for children (as described below), because the IR2 visa is an immediate relative green card, there are no annual quota limitations, and a visa number should be immediately available for the child’s case (avoiding delays).

Under consular processing, the child then will need to pay Immigrant Visa Application fee and Affidavit of Support Fee, and then complete and submit Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration through NVC’s electronic application center.  After Form DS-260 is submitted, the child will be instructed to also submit various supporting documents, including passport , photo, birth certificate, police certificate if the child is 16 years of age or older. Form I-864 Affidavit of Support and its supporting documents are needed to be filed as well.

If the child is in the United States, the IR2 visa is not subject to consular processing.  Instead, the processing of the IR2 visa is through adjustment of status.  Adjustment of status means that the child’s status will change from whatever visa category previously legal entry into the United States to the status of U.S. green card holder pursuant to the IR2 visa.

Under adjustment of status, the child needs to file Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status, with USCIS (USCIS handles adjustment of status processing).  Form I-485 requires various information about the child.  With Form I-485, the child also needs to submit various documents and other evidence, such as passport, photos, birth certificate, and proof of legal entry. Form I-864 Affidavit of Support and its supporting documents are needed to be filed together with Form I-485 as well. Another advantage of an IR2 visa application as an “immediate relative” green card application over other green card applications for children (as described below) is that it is possible to file Form I-485 at the same time as the parent files Form I-130, which is known as “concurrently filing”. Actually, it is highly recommended to file Form I-130 together with Form I-485 if the child is inside the United States. Concurrently filing will not only saving time but also avoiding an adjustment of status interview at a USCIS local field office.

With both consular processing and adjustment of status, the child also will schedule and complete a medical examination with an authorized physician (less extensive if the child is under 15) and be fingerprinted (if the child is over 14).

Under consular processing, the child should attend an immigrant visa interview at a U.S. embassy or consulate. At the interview, the child will be asked questions about the parent-child relationship to prove its validity. For any green card application, including for IR2 visas, the interview can play a critical role in determining whether the green card application will be approved.

How Much Time Does It Take to Obtain an IR2 Visa?

While every IR2 visa case is different, and individual circumstances will vary, the average time it takes to obtain an IR2 visa is estimated to be 6-24 months.

As processing times frequently change over time, it is recommended that the current processing time for an IR2 visa application be checked before beginning the IR2 visa processing.     

How Much Does It Cost to Obtain an IR2 Visa?

The following is a summary of the principal filing fees required in connection with an IR2 visa:

  • Form I-130 – $535;
  • Form DS-260 – $445 (consisting of a Visa Application Processing fee of $325 and an Affidavit of Support fee of $120);
  • Form I-485 – $1,140 (but only $750 for a child under age 14 when filing with at least one parent);
  • Biometrics services fee – $85 (if a child is age 14 or older); and
  • Medical examination fees (about $300-$600).

In addition, as obtaining an IR2 visa can require the help of someone who has prior knowledge, experience, and expertise with IR2 visas, it is recommended that an attorney or immigration consultant be hired to assist with the IR2 visa application.  The cost of suchan attorney or immigration consultant should be considered in determining the total cost to obtain an IR2 visa.

Other Green Cards for Children

IR2 visas are only one type of green card for children.  The following is a list of other possible green cards for children:

  • Unmarried children who are 21 years of age and older (sons and daughters) of U.S. citizens can qualify for what is known as an “F1 first preference” visa;
  • Unmarried children who are under 21 years of age of U.S. green card holders can qualify for what is known as an “F2A second preference” visa;
  • Unmarried children who are 21 years of age and older (sons and daughters) of U.S. green card holders can qualify for what is known as an “F2B second preference” visa; and
  • Married children (sons and daughters) of U.S. citizens can qualify for what is known as an “F3 third preference” visa.

These four visas, known as “family preference” green cards, fill in the gaps for children who cannot qualify for IR2 visas.

If the child is 21 years of age or older and thereby cannot qualify for an IR2 visa, the child, if unmarried, may be able to qualify for an “F1 first preference” visa (if there is a U.S. citizen parent) or an“F2B second preference” visa (if there is a U.S. green card holder parent).

If the child has a U.S. green card holder parent and thereby cannot qualify for an IR2 visa, the child, if under 21 years of age, may be able to qualify for an “F2A second preference” visa.

If the child is married and thereby cannot qualify for an IR2 visa, the child may be able to qualify for an “F3 third preference” visa (if there is a U.S. citizen parent).

However, it should be noted that it will generally take more time to obtain any of these family preference green cards than an IR2 visa (as an immediate relative green card) because these family preference green cardsare subject to annual quota limitations and generally do not offer immediately available visa numbers. For F1, F3 and F2B visa category, concurrent filing of Form I-485 with Form I-130 (under adjustment of status) is not available. For F2A visa category, concurrent filing is possible if the F2A is current according to the visa bulletin monthly issued by the Department of State.

At DYgreencard.com, we can help you prepare all types of family-based green card applications for your child at an affordable price, no matter you are a U.S. citizen, or a lawful permanent resident. All you need to do is just answer some simple questions and upload customized documents to our online platform. In addition, an immigration lawyer will answer your questions and review your application before its submission to USCIS. Learn more about what we can do for you.

Conclusion

There are many ways that parents can show their love for their children.  With the many benefits available to children who obtain green cards in the United States, providing your child with an IR2 visa can help your child for the rest of the child’s life.

If you are a U.S. citizen who wants your unmarried, and under 21 years of age, child to obtain a green card, you should consider the IR2 visa.

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