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F3 Visa for Nigerians

The F3 Visa (also called a Family Based Green Card) is for the married children of U.S. citizens who want to live and work in the United States permanently. The F3 Visa also permits the dependants of the U.S. citizen’s child to join them in the U.S.

IAS offers professional immigration advice and we can help determine your F3 Visa eligibility. Contact the IAS adviser online by calling +23413438882 in Nigeria or +44 (0) 3316300929 in the U.S. to receive personal help with your case.

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    Overview of the F3 Visa in the U.S.

    F3 Visa is one of four types of Family Preference Immigrant Visas designed to reunite families by allowing the U.S. citizen’s married children and their dependants to come and live in the U.S. F3 Visa is only for children over the age of 21 who can prove that they are married.

    If you qualify for the F3 Visa, you will be permitted to bring your spouse and minor children to the U.S. with you, provided that they apply for their F3 Visa. The qualifying dependants of the F3 applicants are spouses and minor children under the age of 21.

    Obtaining the F3 Visa allows you to work legally in the U.S. without applying for the Employment Authorisation Document (EAD). F3 applicants can also study in the U.S., travel abroad and re-enter the U.S. anytime without restrictions.

    Who is Eligible for the F3 Visa?

    F3 Visa is only for married children of U.S. citizens. To qualify, you must prove that you are:

    • A child of someone who holds a U.S. citizen status
    • Over 21 years of age
    • Legally married

    Your sponsor is the U.S. citizen through which you apply for an F3 Visa. The eligible sponsor must live in the U.S. and prove the relationship with the F3 applicant with adequate supporting documentation.

    Relationship Requirement for the F3 Visa

    F3 Visas are only granted to U.S. citizens who meet the relationship requirement. They must prove that they have married children in a foreign country. The relationship between the U.S. citizen and their child must be demonstrated with a document such as a birth certificate or adoption document.

    How to Apply for the F3 Visa?

    The application process for the F3 Visa is considered to be very long and involves different stages. Before you can apply for the F3 Visa, the U.S. citizen (sponsor) must file a petition for you to come to the U.S. The F3 Visa application can only begin once the petition is approved and once the spot for a visa application opens.

    Filing the Petition for Alien Relative

    The U.S. sponsor must first file a petition for alien relative (form I-130) and pay a fee to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to be allowed to bring their married child and their dependants to the U.S. The U.S. sponsor can also file an immigrant visa petition for their spouse, children, parents or siblings. However, the F3 Visa is specifically for the married children of the U.S. sponsor. Other relatives should apply for a different visa.

    Once the USCIS approves the petition, they will send the application to the National Visa Center (NVC). The NVC will send the F3 applicant a Visa application package with detailed step-by-step instructions for the application.

    If the petition gets rejected, the USCIS will notify the U.S. sponsor of the reasons for the rejection. The petition can then be re-submitted according to the necessary changes requested by the USCIS.

    Documents Required for the Petition Filing Stage for an F3 Visa

    Along with the petition, the U.S. sponsor will be required to provide the following evidence:

    • Evidence of U.S. citizenship
    • A copy of their child’s birth certificate
    • Proof of legal name change (if applicable)
    • 2 passport-style photographs (if applicable)

    If the U.S. sponsor is filing the petition for their adopted child, they must provide the following evidence instead of a birth certificate:

    • A copy of the adoption decree showing the adoption took place before the child turned 16
    • Proof you have had legal custody of the adopted child for 2 years
    • Evidence you have lived with the adopted child for 2 years

    The F3 Visa Application

    Once you receive your visa application package from the NVC, you will get notified when the spot for your visa application opens. You can then begin the visa application process. You must visit the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Nigeria to complete your application. The U.S. Embassy in Nigeria is in Abuja, and the U.S. Consulate is in Victoria Island, Lagos.

    Filing the Form DS-260

    The U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country will request you to file the form DS-260. It is a type of Immigrant Visa Electronic Application which has to be completed by the F3 applicant and each of their dependents. The DS-260 form asks about your background information and reasons for your immigration to the U.S. Each dependant has to file a separate form.

    After submitting the form, you will be provided with a confirmation page and number. This will have to be then sent to the NVC along with your other supporting documents for your visa.

    Medical Examination and Vaccination for an F3 Visa

    A medical examination and vaccinations are a part of the F3 Visa application process designed for anyone planning to enter the U.S. Each F3 applicant must complete necessary check-ups and have certain vaccinations before immigrating to the U.S.

    The instructions on what medical tests and vaccination are required to be completed will be provided to you in the visa application package from the NVC.

    To prove that you have undergone the required medical examination, you must demonstrate a document signed by a licensed doctor, which you will then submit as a supporting document for your visa application.

    Documents Required for the F3 Visa Application Process

    To show that you are eligible for the F3 Visa and that you meet the required criteria, you must provide the following supporting documents:

    • Valid passport for you and any dependants who are applying for an F3 Visa to come to the U.S. with you
    • Two U.S. visa photographs for each applicant (note that the photographs are required to fulfil the visa requirements)
    • A signed form I-864 (Affidavit of Support) from the U.S. sponsor – to demonstrate that they have the adequate means of financial support to support you and (if applicable) your dependants in the U.S.
    • Birth certificate or adoption decree to show your relationship with the sponsor parent
    • Medical examination and vaccination documents to prove you have completed the necessary medical checks
    • Your valid marriage certificate to prove that you are legally married
    • Divorce certificate or death certificate if you have been previously married
    • Criminal records and court records (if any)
    • Military records if you served in the military

    Assembling all the supporting documents for your visa application can be complicated. If you are still determining what evidence you should provide for your F3 Visa to the U.S. IAS is here to help.

    IAS can help you determine your eligibility and advise on the documents you should prepare for your application. Our immigration advisers understand that applying for a visa can be challenging and stressful, preventing you from joining your family in the U.S. We offer services to help make this process hassle-free.

    Contact IAS today to receive professional assistance with your visa application. Call +23413438882 in Nigeria, or +44 (0) 3316300929, or reach out to one of our lawyers online to find out how we can help your case.

    Attending Visa Interview

    Once you submit the required supporting documents for your F3 Visa, the NVC will schedule a Visa interview at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in Nigeria. You must attend the interview with any dependants applying for the F3 Visa with you.

    The purpose of the Visa interview is the final stage of the application process, which should determine whether you are eligible for the F3 Visa.

    Our experts will assess your situation and provide tailored advice based on your family’s circumstances.

    Processing Time for the F3 Visa Application in the U.S.

    The F3 Visa in the U.S. is one of the most preferred visas. As a result, only 23,400 F3 Visas are issued each year to avoid extreme delays. Therefore, the F3 Visa USA waiting time is likely to be long and can vary from 1 year up to 10 years in severe cases.

    Cost of the F3 Visa Application Process

    The F3 Visa application process cost involves fees paid by the U.S. sponsor and the F3 applicant. The overall cost is based on the following fees:

    • Form I-130 – $535
    • Form DS-260 – $325
    • USCIS Immigration Fee (paid after you receive your visa and before you travel to the U.S.) – $220
    • Fees for medical examinations and vaccines will vary depending on individual cases

    Our team of seasoned immigration experts is here to guide you every step of the way.

    How Can IAS Help?

    IAS offers F3 Visa Assistance Packages created to suit individuals looking to come to the U.S. on an F3 Visa. Our team of qualified immigration lawyers with expertise in assisting even the most complex cases can help maximise visa approval chances.

    Whether your visa has been previously refused or you are simply unsure where to start your application process, IAS can discuss your case and help you decide on next steps.

    For IAS F3 Visa assistance services in Nigeria, call +23413438882. If in the U.S., contact us +44 (0) 3316300929 or online.

    We offer immigration advice sessions as face to face appointments at our Lagos office, all of our UK offices, or via the phone.

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    If your visa is approved, you and your dependents can legally work in the U.S. without restrictions. You can work in the U.S. without having to apply for an Employment Authorisation Document (EAD).

    Once you are admitted to enter the U.S. on an F3 Visa, you become a Permanent Resident. Permanent Residents have the right to apply for U.S. citizenship and receive new rights and privileges, provided that they have maintained continuous residence as permanent residents.

    Yes, you need a U.S. sponsor for the F3 Visa. Your sponsor is the key to the F3 Visa. You cannot apply for an F3 Visa without a sponsor, as the petition filed by the sponsor begins the application process.

    If you want to predict when you are likely to get a visa priority date allowing you to apply for the F3 Visa, you can use one of the F3 Visa Prediction Calculators available online or reach out to IAS.

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