Complete Guide to the F2B Visa

Updated on March 6, 2024

At a Glance

  • F2B visa, or Family Preference visa, is for unmarried children over 21 of a green card holder.
  • Allows legal study, living, and working in the United States, potentially leading to permanent residency.
  • Different from the F2A visa, which is for the spouse and minor children of a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident.
  • Qualifications: Must be the lawful child of an LPR, be at least 21 years old, and unmarried.

When you first move to the United States, the chances are that you will be going there by yourself on a work visa. You will be going there without your family, without anyone to make you feel connected to home. Eventually, you become a permanent resident or even a citizen, but you realize that you are still all alone among strangers.

Still, once you’ve reached the lawful permanent resident stage, you have all the rights of bringing your family with you – and all you need is the F2 visa. If you also wish to bring your children that have already come of age, you might be particularly interested in the F2B visa.

What Is an F2B Visa?

The F2B, also referred to as the Family Preference visa, is a visa that is given to the single or unmarried children of the green card holder. These children should be over the age of 21 and need to prove that they are the legal (birth or adopted) children of a parent that is legally living in the U.S.

The F2B visa provides the opportunity for you to unite with your family. It also allows your children to study legally, live, and even work in the United States. With the F2B visa, their stay can be permanent and legal.

Difference Between and F2A Visa and an F2B Visa

While F2A and F2B are quite similar in the sense that they can reunite you with your family, they are targeting two different categories of people. Here is how the F2 visa is classified as:

  • F2A Visa – For the spouse or any minor children that the U.S. citizen or LPR may have
  • F2B Visa – For unmarried or single children that are over the age of 21

Depending on the size of your family, you might have to petition for both visas.

Who Qualifies for an F2B Visa?

There aren’t any extensive lists of qualifications that you need to have to get this visa. Still, in order to become eligible, both the visa seeker and the petitioner will have to respect certain conditions. Here are the criteria that the applicant will have to follow:

  • You need to be the lawful child of a U.S. LPR, and you should be able to prove that through the appropriate documentation (i.e. adoption documents or birth certificates).
  • You need to be at least 21-years-old.
  • You must be unmarried.

There are also some conditions that you will need to respect as the lawful permanent resident:

  • You are the parent of the adult child you are petitioning for and can prove so by using the proper documentation.
  • You must be at least a lawful permanent resident of the United States.
  • You need to live in the United States.

As long as these qualifications are met, there is no reason why you should not be able to receive the F2B visa.

Required Documents for an F2B Visa

There are various documents that you will have to gather in order to apply for an F2B visa. Aside from your medical documents and the application form, you also need to bring out the supporting documents. Your list should look like this:

  • A passport valid 6 months after your decided entry in the United States.
  • Filled and signed original version of Form I-864, Affidavit of Support. This form needs to be signed by the LPR or U.S citizen petitioner – i.e. the parent of the child.
  • The confirmation page for form DS-260.
  • List of vaccines along with your medical examination.
  • Two photographs that fit the visa photo requirements.
  • Your criminal record, along with any potential police certificates.
  • If you were part of the military, you also have to include your records.
  • Validated birth or adoption certificates for the child.
  • If you’ve been previously married, you also need to bring supporting documents (e.g. divorce or death certificates) to prove that your previous marriage has officially come to an end.

To strengthen your cause, you might also want to add health insurance on the list, but that is not mandatory. Once your documents have been processed, the next step for you would be the interview.

How to Apply for an F2B Visa

When you get the current date, you are free to follow the step-by-step instructions provided by the NVC. This way, you can be certain that your application goes flawlessly and without any issues from the U.S. Embassy. Here are the steps that the adult child will have to go through at their country’s U.S. embassy.

File Form DS-260

This form is one that anyone who submits an electronic application will have to complete. After filing the necessary sections and submitting, you need to get the resulting confirmation page (along with the number) and file it with your documentation.

Go Through the Medical Exam

If you want to move into the United States permanently, then you need to prove that you are no health hazard to the people living there as well. Not only will you have to go through a medical examination, but you also need to prove that you have all your vaccines.

Gather the Documents

In order to get your visa, you also need to prove that you are eligible for it. As a result, you have to gather all the supporting documents mentioned above, to prove the relationship between you and your sponsoring parent.

Go to the Interview

Once your documents have been processed and they determine that all of the requirements were met, you will be scheduled for an interview. Go there at the exact date and time, and answer every question truthfully. If they believe there is something wrong with your answers, then it might affect your chances of getting a visa.

F2B Visa Cost?

There are various fees that you might expect with the F2B visa – some of them dependent on the country that you are in. Some fees are known, whereas others will depend on your circumstances. Here is what you might expect to pay:

  • Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative ($535)
  • Vaccination fee
  • Processing fee for form DS-260
  • Medical exam fees
  • Fees for any documents that require translating
  • USCIS immigrant fee (paid after you receive the visa and before you move into the United States

Make some inquiries at your local embassy to know exactly how much you are supposed to pay.

F2B Visa Processing Time

There is no specific F2B visa processing time. Since the number of such visas is limited, some people wait for two years. Delays are growing longer and longer, and there were also cases when individuals waited for as much as 7 years (although the latter is an extreme case). You might only want to wait until the moment your priority date becomes current. After that, you should immediately start your application process.

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Frank Gogol

I’m a firm believer that information is the key to financial freedom. On the Stilt Blog, I write about the complex topics — like finance, immigration, and technology — to help immigrants make the most of their lives in the U.S. Our content and brand have been featured in Forbes, TechCrunch, VentureBeat, and more.

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