Everything You Need to Know About the IR2 Visa

Updated on April 10, 2024

At a Glance

  • The IR2 Visa is an immediate relative visa for unmarried children under the age of 21 of U.S. citizens.
  • To apply for an IR2 Visa, the U.S. citizen or LPR petitioner must file Form DS-260 online, complete Form I-864 as a financial sponsor, undergo a medical examination and vaccination, gather required documents, and attend an interview at a U.S. Embassy.
  • The processing time for an IR2 Visa can range from 3 to 12 months.
  • There are various associated costs involved in the application process.

IR2 Visa is one of the many family-based visas issued by the United States Citizenship and Immigration  Services or USCIS. But who can apply for the IR2 visa, and what are the eligibility requirements?. In this guide, we’ll explain everything you need to know about the IR-2 Visa.

What is an IR2 Visa?

IR2 is a family-based visa issued to immediate relatives of certain US immigrants. The IR stands for Immediate Relative and is classified as an Immediate Relative Visa. The United States immigration law promotes family unification. They understand that the incoming immigrants and Legal Permanent Residents (LPRs) will be eager to reunite with their family members. To facilitate this unification, the USCIS issues two types of visas, namely, Family preference visas and IR or Immediate Relative visas. IR2 is one of them.

So if you have an immediate relative who you want to bring into the United States, then you can apply for an IR2 Visa. But not all immediate relatives can apply for IR2 visas. As you’ll see in the next section, there are eligibility criteria the relative must meet.

Who can Apply for an IR2 Visa

IR-2 visas can only be applied by a certain group of relatives that meet the eligibility criteria laid out by the USCIS.

The first requirement is that the relative should not be qualifying for family preference immigrant visas. Since IR visas do not have a yearly cap, there’s a chance certain immigrants might abuse it. Therefore, the relative should be eligible for visas like F1, F2, F3, or F4 family preference visas.

Also, there are different types of IR visas, IR2 being one of them. IR-1 visa is for the spouse of a US citizen. Similarly, an IR-2 visa is for unmarried children of a US citizen under the age of 21 at the time of application. IR-3, IR-4, and IR-5 are for other relatives.

Therefore, only unmarried children who are under the age of 21 can apply for an IR-2 visa. If they’re above 21 or got married recently, then they’ll become ineligible.

How to Apply for an IR2 Visa

To apply for the IR2 Visa, you need to follow a set of procedures. Since there is no yearly cap on the number of IR2 issued each year, you do not have to wait for priority dates. You’re required to file a petition with the USCIS. Once it is approved, you can proceed with the application process by visiting a US Embassy. Since the child is minor, they should be accompanied by someone even if it’s not an official requirement. Here are the steps involved in applying for an IR2 Visa:

File Form DS-260 Online

As a US citizen or LPR, the first thing you should do is file the DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. This is mandatory for every immigrant visa. You can access the form online from the Consular Electronic Application Consular or CEAC portal. You’d need your NVC case number to log in and continue with the application. Here are the steps involved in how to complete DS-260:

  • Provide your NVC case number, Invoice ID Number, and identify yourself as a “Petitioner” from the drop-down menu.
  • From there, navigate to the “Getting Started” section.
  • Provide the personal information of the child you want the IR-2 visa for. Details like full name, DOB, sex, and city of birth will be asked.
  • Also, provide the travel document information like a passport. You (or the child, in this case) must show this document when entering the US.
  • Next, provide the current physical address, phone numbers, and email address. You can also provide social media IDs the child might be using.
  • In the next section, provide family information like the name of parents, spouse, or children. Since the child is supposed to be unmarried, spouse and child are not applicable in this case.
  • Next, provide the previous travel made by the child into the US. If not, you can leave the section blank.
  • If he/she holds work experience or education degrees, then provide those details in the next section.
  • You’ll be asked certain miscellaneous questions in the penultimate section that have to do with security and background checks. Answer accordingly.
  • Finally, provide the Social Security Number, if any.

Complete Form I-864

You must fill out another form, which is Form I-864, and send it to the child. He/she must include this in his/her application. This is basically a statement that you’re financially liable for the child in the United States.

Medical Examination and Vaccination

Anyone coming into the US must pass the medical and vaccination tests. Therefore, the child must get a medical checkup done and provide necessary documents to prove that he/she has taken the appropriate vaccination. The medical checkup must be done by a licensed doctor as recognized by the US Embassy. You’ll be sending these reports to the NVC.

Gather Documents

Along with the medical examination report, you’ll have to send additional documents to the NVC.

A full list of documents has been mentioned in the section below. Please refer to them to understand which documents to compile and submit.

Attend Interview

Once the NVC receives the documents and approves, they’ll schedule an interview at the Embassy. The child, accompanied by his guardian, must attend the interview on time.

Throughout the process, the duties of the US citizen is minimal. So, everything should be carried out by the child and his/her guardian.

After the application is approved, the child will receive an NVC packet that contains their visas. They can travel to the US now and stay there legally with their parents. But you shouldn’t open the packet. This is to be only opened at a US Port of Entry by an immigration official. If found unsealed, then the child might not be allowed to enter the country.

IR2 Visa Required Documents

Here is the list of documents you need to submit along with the IR-2 visa application:

  • A valid passport with a validity of at least six months
  • A completed and signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Support filled out by the US Petitioner
  • DS-260 confirmation page
  • Medical examination reports
  • Two recent photographs
  • Court and criminal record certificate
  • Military records, if served in the military

IR2 Visa Cost

There are many costs to cover for this application. Those are:

  • DS-260 processing fee of $325
  • I-130 filing fee of $535
  • Medical examination fees as charged by the doctor
  • USCIS immigration fees of $220

IR2 Visa Processing Time

The processing time for an IR-2 visa can vary from 3 to 12 months from the application date. It depends on the seasonality and circumstances surrounding the applicant. Since there is no annual cap, there’s no waiting involved.

Read More


The children, after entering the US, can also become American citizens by fulfilling the requirements. While the process is simple, you must be cautious with paperwork. Incorrect forms are often rejected. In case of confusion, get in touch with an immigration attorney. 

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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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