Updated: 6/25/17

What Is A CR2/IR2 visa?

CR2 visa

CR2/IR2 Visa is issued to the unmarried child of the foreign spouse. For a child to qualify as a stepchild, the marriage would need to have taken place before the child’s 18th birthday. The child must also be under the age of 21 at the time of the visa application.

After the US citizen spouse files I-130 petition with the USCIS, the foreign spouse will complete the visa process in their foreign country. The I-130 requests details of the foreign nationals children that will be traveling to the US as well.

Once the CR1 or IR1 spouse visa is approved, the CR2/IR2 is generally also approved on the same day from the US consulate. You may be required to either retrieve your passport or it will be sent to you via courier service.

Both the foreign spouse and children can then enter the US with their visas and pass through Port of Entry where they will become a Permanent Residents immediately.

You and your child will receive Permanent Resident Cards (Green Card) within two week of your arrival to the US Address on your application.

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Note: If your child turns 18 before you get married, it may be a better option to apply for the K1 visa instead.

Who Is Eligible For CR2/IR2 Visa?

Unmarried child under the age of 21 is eligible to ride on the foreign spouse’s I-130 petition. If, however, the child has already reached the age of 21, the US citizen petitioner can file a separate I-130 for each child.

What if the child under 21 gets married?

The requirement for the CR2 visa is that the child is not already married at the time of the petition. If the child is married, it will make them ineligible to be included on their parent’s I-130 petition. They will no longer be considered for “first preference” category and will drop to “third preference” instead.

  • First preference: Unmarried children of any age of US citizen
  • Second preference:
    • (a) Spouses and unmarried children under 21 of green card holders
    • (b) Unmarried sons/daughters of green card holders who are 21+
  • Third preference: Married children of US citizens of any age
  • Fourth preference: Sisters/brothers of US citizens where citizen is 21+

If a child is not considered first preference, they will need to wait until a visa becomes available before they will be interviewed. This can take months to years in some cases.

First preference category has no wait time or priority date requirement. They can apply for a visa right away.

Frequently Asked Questions For CR2/IR2 Visa

Who qualifies as a “son” or “daughter”?

To qualify as son or daughter that you can petition for using form I-130, they must meed the following requirements:

  • natural-born child to married parents
  • natural-born child to unmarried parents (if father is the one filing petition, he needs to prove paternity with blood test)
  • Stepchild that was under 18 years old when parents married

How long will the immigration process take for my child?

As an immediate relative, the processing times are a little quicker. The length of time for approval also depends on whether the child is unmarried and under 21 or married, over 21.

If your child is under 21 and unmarried, you can include them on your spouse’s I-130 petition. If they are over 21 or married, they will need to petitioned separately and this will take longer to process.

My child lives in the US unlawfully, how can I adjust their status?

If your child already lives in the US without legal authorization, they are considered inadmissible and may not be eligible for a green card.

If you do try to adjust their status with form I-485, you may be successful all the up to the interview but your child will be required to leave the US for the interview and there are some major problems that can arise depending on how long they stayed in the US illegally.

  • Illegal stay 6 months – 1 year: there will be a 3 year bar from entering the US if they depart to complete the interview.
  • Illegal stay over 1 year: there will be a 10 year bar from entering the US if they depart to complete their interview.

As you can see, this is very tricky to navigate and I’d recommend that you seek the help of a qualified immigration attorney.

Can my child come to the US while the I-130 petition is pending?

If you are a US citizen and have filed I-130 for your child, they are eligible for the K4 visa which lets them move to the US to live and work while the I-130 is pending.

To get this benefit, you need to file form I-129F, which is a lot quicker to get approved. So if you want to have your child live with you in the states, you may want to consider this option that is available to you.

What happens after I file I-130 for my child?

The process when filing the relative petition for your child is the same as for other relatives. USCIS will send your notice of action which includes the receipt number. If you sent all the required documents, it can take 1-2 weeks to hear back from USCIS. If there is something missing, you will receive a request for evidence (RFE).

Documents Needed To File For CR2/IR2 Visa For a Child

I-130 Petition for Alien Relative [download]

Include your child in the primary beneficiary’s I-130. The primary beneficiary is the parent that is married to the US citizen or Lawful permanent resident.

Note: an accompanying child does not need a separate I-130 filled out for them unless they are over the age of 21 or married.

Evidence Needed For CR2/IR2 Visa For a Child

  • Completed I-130 signed by petitioner
    • If petitioner is the mother
      • birth certificate of child showing your name and name of child
    • If petitioner is the father
      • birth certificate of child showing both parent’s names and your marriage certificate

Medical Examination For A Child

Each child will need to complete a medical examination by a civil surgeon chosen by USCIS. No child is exempt from the medical no matter their age.

You must make the medical exam appointment yourself before the interview date. It’s best to schedule all of your medical exams on the same day so that the results will be ready at the same time.

  • Bring the interview appointment letter
  • Bring their vaccination records
  • There will be a fee for vaccines administered
  • An X-ray will be performed
  • A complete physical exam will be performed

Make two copies of each original document or piece of evidence.

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