Every nonimmigrant visa applicant must qualify on his/her own merits. To that end, spouses of U.S. citizens or Legal Permanent Residents may qualify for a nonimmigrant visa under certain circumstances. However, due to the bonds of marriage and the presumption by the interviewing officer that the U.S. citizen or Legal Permanent Resident’s spouse may want to permanently reside with the citizen in the United States, spouses of Legal Permanent Residents or U.S. citizens that reside in the United States may find it difficult to qualify for a nonimmigrant visa.
THE K PACKET
Does my fiancé(e)’s minor child need to be interviewed?
All visa applicants, regardless of age, need to appear at the Embassy for a visa interview. We suggest that applicants appear at the Embassy at least 15 minutes before the scheduled appointment and plan to stay a few hours.
Does my petitioner need to attend the interview?
The petitioner need not be present during the visa interview. Be assured that his/her absence, in and of itself, will not affect the applicant’s case. However, the petitioner is welcome to accompany the applicant should he/she wish to do so.
Applicants for nonimmigrant visas usually bring supporting documents such as bank statements, employment verification, land titles, car titles, etc. Sometimes the consular officer will ask for the documents, other times he or she will be able to make a decision without reviewing any documents. In these cases, the facts presented by the applicant in the interview and application process were already enough for the officer to make a decision of eligibility for a visa based on U.S. immigration law.
The F2A visa category is a family-sponsored immigrant visa petition that may be filed by a U.S. Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Spouses and minor children of LPRs fall under the F2A visa category.
IR1/IR2 visa categories are for spouses/minor children of a U.S. Citizen.
Visa Category Conversion: When Does It Happen?
Visa category conversions happen when there are changes in certain personal circumstances of petitioners or beneficiaries.
F2A – IR1/IR2 Conversion
When an LPR petitioner becomes a U.S. citizen through naturalization, this will result in the automatic visa reclassification of the petition. The original F2A visa petition filed on behalf of a spouse will be converted to the immediate relative immigrant visa category – IR1. The same holds true for the petitioned minor child wherein the original F2A visa petition will be converted to the IR2 category. However, if the child does not have a separate F2A visa petition filed on his/her behalf and was just listed as a derivative beneficiary under the principal applicant parent’s original F2A petition, the child will no longer be able to derive benefits from the petition. A Form I-130 (IR2) visa petition would have to be filed on the child’s behalf with the USCIS.
The U.S. Embassy will be closed on Monday, October 31, 2011, in observance of the Special Non-Working Day declared by the Philippine government.
All nonimmigrant and immigrant visa applicants scheduled on October 31, 2011, are requested to contact the Embassy call center at the following numbers: (02) 982-5555 and (02) 902-8930, Monday to Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., or go to http://www.ustraveldocs.com/ph to reschedule their appointments.
THE ADVENTURES OF BONG VOYAGE
Bong Voyage, our perpetual immigrant visa applicant, is currently at the Embassy for his visa interview. He submitted his passport and other supporting documents including his NBI clearance at the receiving window. A few minutes later, his number was flashed on the Qmatic screen.
Consul Jimmy Murdochs (while checking his visa documents): Good morning. Your complete name, please?
Bong Voyage: Bong Voyage.
Consul: Mr. Voyage, as I review your papers, I notice that the name indicated on your birth certificate is Roberto Voyage while your NBI clearance says Bong Voyage. How is this so?
Bong Voyage: Ever since I was little, I have used the name Bong Voyage. I only learned about my other name, Roberto Voyage, when I requested an authenticated birth certificate from the National Statistics Office (NSO). I was planning to have it corrected but I was told it is a lengthy and costly process.
Consul: I understand your concern, Mr. Voyage; we also understand that indeed it is a costly and lengthy process. However, we need your amended birth certificate indicating your current name, Bong Voyage, for us to be able to continue processing your application. Do you also have an NBI clearance bearing your other name, Roberto Voyage?
Bong Voyage: I am afraid not; I thought it was not necessary.
Consul: You will need to submit a new NBI clearance with your other name. NBI clearances submitted to us should be in your current name, birth certificate name, maiden name, married name, and any aliases or nicknames you ever used, including different spellings of all your names. Mr. Voyage, I regret that I won’t be able to approve your visa as of this time.
Bong Voyage: I understand, Sir Consul. I will have my birth certificate amended and I will secure a new NBI clearance. Thank you very much for your time.
It is essential to review and complete visa requirements and documents before proceeding for a visa interview. Below are helpful links which you can check when you are in the process of completing your visa requirements:
US Embassy Immigrant Visa Website: http://manila.usembassy.gov/wwwh3023.html
NSO Website: https://www.ecensus.com.ph/Secure/frmIndex.asp
NBI Website: http://www.nbi.gov.ph/
Individuals convicted of certain crimes involving moral turpitude are usually ineligible for a visa. U.S. immigration law acknowledges that there may be some exceptions, for example, if the crime was committed when the individual was under 18 years of age. The visa ineligibility might not apply if the maximum penalty possible for the crime of which the visa applicant was convicted did not exceed imprisonment for one year and, if the visa applicant was convicted of the crime, he or she was not sentenced to more than 6 months imprisonment. Different standards apply if the visa applicant has been convicted of two or more crimes.
VISAtisfied Voyager’s immigration wizard protects you from the evils of wrong information
My mother filed an F2B petition for me and my children on March 11, 2002, when she was still a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR/Greencard Holder). While waiting for my priority date to become current, my mother became a naturalized U.S. citizen in July 2009. Does that mean my visa category and my priority date will be changed? How will this affect my waiting time? If this will prolong my waiting time, is there a way to avoid these changes? I hope you can advise me what to do next.
Thank you in advance.
Dear Ms. Megrante,
As you know, when your mother filed the visa petition for you in 2002 as the daughter of an LPR, it was under the F2B category. However, when your mother naturalized in 2009, you were automatically re-categorized as the daughter of a United States citizen, under the F1 category.
While your priority date of March 11, 2002, stayed the same, there are some countries where the priority date for F2B applicants is more current than for F1 applicants. This is true for the Philippines, where visa numbers for F2B applicants become available sooner than for F1 applicants. What this means for you is that when your mother became a U.S. citizen and your visa category was converted to F1, your wait for your priority date to become current for processing became longer.
However, there is a relief for you. Under Section 6 of the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA), you can request the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to reclassify you back to the F2B category. You may contact the USCIS office in Manila to inform them that you wish to “opt out” of the automatic conversion to F1 and remain in the F2B category.
Unfortunately, the application of this opt-out provision is not automatic. USCIS would have to approve your request so you may be reclassified back to your F2B category. If your visa petition is still with the National Visa Center (NVC), you will have to provide a copy of the approval to NVC to update your records.