What is the F-3 Visa?

The F3 Third Category Visa is one of the Family Preference Immigrant Visas, designed to reunite families in the U.S.

It is suitable for married children of U.S. citizens, who are not eligible for other family-based permits.

Every fiscal year, the USCIS releases only a limited number of these permits. In other words, only 23,400 successful applicants can enter the U.S. when their F3 Visa priority date becomes current. However, once you get your F3 Visa status, you will be allowed to live and work in the U.S. freely, as well as traveling abroad and enroll in studies.

You can review the status of your application at every time by checking the F3 Visa bulletin. This is released every year by the USCIS and lists the predicted and current dates for this kind of permit.

How can IAS help you petition for an F3 Green Card?

When the number of applicants for one of the family-based Green Cards exceed the available visas, there is an immigration wait. In other words, you will need to wait until next year for your petition to be processed by the USCIS. However, if you fail to submit a comprehensive portfolio of documents, your request will be rejected, and you will need to wait several more years.

To avoid this kind of unpleasant situations, you should seek legal guidance.

With IAS, your family Green Card application will be followed by one of our best immigration attorneys. With the help of your dedicated lawyer, you will maximize the chances of getting a positive outcome from your petition.

Get in touch today by calling us on +1844 290 6312 or enquire online to speak to one of our immigration experts.


What are the F3 Visa requirements?

To be eligible for an F3 Visa status, at least one of your parents must be a U.S. citizen. In addition, you must be living outside the U.S. at the time of your application. You must also:

  • Be at least 21 years or older. Children who are younger and unmarried may instead petition for a Second Preference F2A Visa;
  • Be married. You need to prove the authenticity of your relationship by providing a valid marriage certificate.
  • Have a U.S. parent who has a valid address in the country.

As a general, the spouse and minor children of an eligible F3 Visa holder can apply for the same permit.

How to apply for an F-3 Visa?

Your F3 Visa application process begins when one of your parents living in the U.S. petition for your permission to enter the country. If your Petition for Alien Relative (Form I-130) is approved, then you can submit your visa application form.

If you are traveling with your spouse and minor children, their information must be included in your forms. This means you must submit further documentation, such as your marriage record and the birth certificate of your children.

It must also be noted that the USCIS will start processing your petition only after you have paid your application fee.

Everyone wishing to immigrate in the U.S. and settle as a permanent resident must go through a medical examination. If you are traveling with your family, your spouse and children must get the required check-ups and vaccines as well.  These medical examinations must be performed by a professional accredited by the USCIS.

At this point, you and your family will be summoned for an interview. This will take place at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate in your country of residence. The consular officer will ask you several questions to determine your eligibility.

What are the F3 Category Visa required documents?

Along with your F3 application form, you must submit further documents to support your case. Most importantly, you must convince the USCIS that both you and your family meet all the requirements set by the law.

A successful supporting portfolio must contain the following:

  • Your passport. It must be valid for more than six months after the date you plan to enter the U.S.;
  • Your family members’ passports;
  • A Form I-846 (Affidavit of Support) signed by your U.S. sponsor. This is needed to confirm that you can sustain yourself financially;
  • Medical examination and vaccination documents;
  • Two photos for each person listed on your petition;
  • A valid marriage certificate (and certificates of divorce in the case of previous marriages);
  • The birth certificate or adoption documents of your eligible children (who must be unmarried and under the age of 21);
  • Court and criminal records of each person applying for the visa;
  • Your military records (if applicable);
  • Certificate of previous divorces (if applicable).

What is the F3 Visa processing time?

Once you U.S. sponsor has submitted the I-130 Petition, the USCIS will start reviewing your eligibility. You should receive your response within a few months.

If your petition is rejected, you will receive a letter explaining the reasons for the denial. Otherwise, the NVC will send you the instructions you need to proceed with your application.

However, you will not be able to apply for your permit as soon as your petition is approved. Due to the annual cap, you must wait until your F3 Visa priority date becomes current. In other words, that will be the time when a visa for your category will be available.

Every year, the USCIS receives a significant amount of petitions.  When the maximum number of available permits is reached, the remaining applicants must wait for the following year. This means that it is impossible to estimate what your F3 Visa processing time will be. Depending on the number of applications that need to be processed before yours, it may take from a few months to several years to get your visa.

Do you need any help with your F3 Visa application?

Like other family-based permits, your F3 Visa status cannot be issued until your priority date is reached. Every year, the number of applicants increases significantly, making more challenging to get your visa. For this reason, you must ensure that your application is successful and free of mistakes so that it can be approved as soon as it is processed.

If you wish to submit your petition for an F3 Visa Category, one of our attorneys can remove the stress from your application process. Your dedicated adviser will:

  • Review your case to determine your eligibility;
  • Periodically check the F3 Visa bulletin;
  • Help you gather your supporting documents;
  • Liaise with the USCIS in the case of delays in your application.

To learn more about our services, call us on +1844 290 6312 or ask for a free call back from our staff.

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