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IR-2 Visa: Processing Time and Steps to Obtain an IR-2 Green Card for Kids

IR-2 Visa: Processing Time and Steps to Obtain an IR-2 Green Card for Kids

IR-2 visas are designated towards unmarried children under the age of 21 with parents who are U.S. citizens. Those children who are protected by the Child Status Protection Act may be over the age of 21.

It is beneficial to get an IR-2 visa for your child not only so they can live in the United States, but also so they can continue to attend school. Essentially, your child is given a green card without needing an employment authorization document.

Unlike the Family Preference Immigrant Visas, Immediate Relative (IR) Immigrant Visas aren’t set to an annual cap. This means if your child is eligible, they can obtain one without limit.

A CR-2 visa is the same as an IR-2 visa, but is most often used when your child has been a part of your family for less than two years. It is considered conditional as opposed to immediate.

Who Do IR-2 Visas Help?

Sometimes the IR-2 visa is referred to as the visa for parents and children that don’t share the same last name. Often this is the case for petitioners and their stepchildren and adopted children.

Who Is Eligible for an IR-2 Visa?

In order for your child to obtain an IR-2 visa, they must be the child of a United States citizen. In addition to this, they must be:

  • Under 21 years old (unless protected by the Child Status Protection Act)
  • Unmarried
  • Living in a foreign country
  • Living with adoptive U.S. citizen parents for at least two years.
  • Their adoption must become permanent before their 16th birthday

The child’s sponsor must fit the following description:

  • Willing to adopt an unmarried child under 21 from another country
  • Be a U.S. citizen
  • Have adopted the child from a different country and lived with them for two years

How Should Someone File an IR-2?

IR-2/CR-2 visas have a similar application process to other family-based visas, but they are broken down into two main parts:

  1. The U.S. citizen acting as a sponsor must petition for the child to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
  2. Once the petition is approved, the child must apply to a U.S. Embassy or Consulate in the country they currently live in.

In other words, the petition must start in the United States before branching out elsewhere.

How Is an IR-2 Different Than an IR-1, 3, 4, or 5?

IR-1 Visa

This visa was created to help foreign spouses of U.S. citizens enter the country. Spouses of green card holders cannot apply. In cases of polygamy, only one spouse will be accepted. IR-1 visa holders are given the opportunity to work, travel, and attend school once their visa is approved.

IR-3 Visa

This visa aids in the process of inter-country adoptions. The IR-3 is specifically used when a child’s adoption process occurred in a country outside of the United States. This means the adoption must be proven legal in the country where it took place.

IR-4 Visa

This visa is for international adoption. It is used when children come to the United States for adoption. In these cases, adoption must be fulfilled by a U.S. court using the Child Citizenship Act. There are two main situations when one would pursue an IR-4:

  1. Full adoption is not allowed in the child’s country. In these cases, the country only allows guardianship.
  2. The future parents were unable to see the child/children before the adoption began.

IR-5 Visa

This visa was created for parents of children who are over the age of 21. An IR-5 allows the parents from a foreign country to work without an employment authorization document in the United States. In order to qualify, the adult children must have financial stability to support their parent(s), they must have a U.S. address, their parent must be from a foreign country, and the parent and child must prove connection through a birth certificate.

IR-2 Visa Process

Since the IR-2 visa has no yearly caps, there is no wait for green card availability. In order to kickstart bringing your child to the United States, the first thing you must do is fill out a Form I-130. Once USCIS grants this petition, you should fill out a Form DS-260. This should be submitted along with proof of your parent-child relationship.

After your DS-260 is sent in, the National Visa Center will review it for approval. They may ask for further documentation to push the visa along. These include:

  • A valid passport for more than six months after your planned return to the U.S.
  • A signed Form I-864
  • Form DS-260 confirmation
  • Medical exam and vaccination documents
  • Two photos per Person
  • Criminal records
  • Military service records

Fees for IRs 1-5 

  • Form I-130 — $535
  • Form DS-260 — $325
  • Medical examination
  • Translations
  • Photocopying
  • Fees for other documentation
  • Expenses for travel to the U.S. Embassy or Consulate

Application fees collected by the National Visa Center do not have to be paid twice. Only missing fees will be owed to the embassy or consulate.

IR-2 Interview

The U.S. Embassy or Consulate of your child’s country will interview your child about your relationship to them. This is done to verify the child is going to be in safe, respectful hands. Your child must carry the following items with them to the interview:

  • USCIS appointment letter
  • An unexpired passport
  • Two identical photos (in color)
  • English translation of documents
  • Civic documents from parents

What Does an Accepted IR-2 Mean for the Applicant?

 Children who are able to fulfill the entirety of the IR-2 visa requirements will immediately become United States citizens. Assuming the child is under 18, they will receive U.S. citizenship as soon as they enter the U.S. and accept that they will be living with their American parents.

Anyone over 18 will become a permanent resident and receive a green card. They can apply for citizenship from there.

Your child will be eligible for American healthcare once your processing is complete. It should be noted that American healthcare is some of the most expensive in the world. A hospital stay will cost an average of $10,000.

How Long Does it Take to Be Accepted or Denied?

 An IR-2 visa will take three to twelve months to process. The U.S. citizen acting as sponsor will be informed about their status once processing is finalized. Should your petition be denied, USCIS will list the reasons for their refusal. If you were denied admissibility, it is likely you were suspected of some form of fraudulent activity. Approved petitions will move forward to the National Visa Center (NVC). Their team will contact you about your IR-2 approval.

The NVC sends full instructions about fulfilling your IR-2 in the mail. Each package contains a case number and invoice number. This case number allows you to continue on with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your child’s country.

What About Children Already in the United States?

Children already living in the United States may be able to apply for a green card without having to be interviewed overseas. If this is the case, they should include the I-130 and fee with their other adjustment forms.

Contact Scott. D. Pollock & Associates

Filling out your IR-2 for your child can be a complex process. Along the way, there could be a detrimental miscommunication with your child’s U.S. Embassy or Consulate. It is imperative that you have the right paperwork and that your relationship with your child is established. You need an attorney that is skilled, compassionate, and hard-working. All three of those qualities can be found in our attorneys at Scott D. Pollock & Associates, P.C.

We are based in Chicago but have worked nationally to help clients resolve their immigration issues. Our combined 70 years of experience have made us leaders in the field. We are here to work with you no matter what part of the application process you are currently in. Contact us at 312-444-1940 or visit our website today for more information.

We're looking forward to hearing from you!