F3 Visa  Explained

F3 Visa Explained

What is the F-3 Visa

The F3 visa, unlike the F1 visa, is a Family Based Green Card that permits US citizens to bring their children who are living in other countries to the US. The F3 visa, like the F2A, F2B, and F4, is a Preference Relative visa that allows married children, their spouses, and minor children to enter the country. However, it excludes grandparents, aunts, uncles, and other relatives.

Although this is one of the most popular visas, only 23,400 F3 visas are issued each year by the USCIS. The F3 visa has numerous advantages.

Who Qualifies for an F3 Visa? 

1. A birth certificate demonstrating that at least one of your parents is a US citizen is required.
2. You must be at least 21 years old.
3. A legitimate marriage certificate is required.
4. Parents who want to bring their children to the US must meet the following requirements:

5. You must be a citizen of the United States.
6. You must have birth/adoption certificates demonstrating you have an adult child living abroad.
7. You reside in the United States and have a valid mailing address.

Documents required for an F3 Visa

The following are the documents needed to apply for an F3 visa:

1. Passports that are valid for more than six months from the date of your admission into the United States (yours, your spouse's, and your children's).
2. Sponsor's signed Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) (parent)
3. Medical examinations and immunizations records
4. Certificate of Marriage
5. Confirmation form DS-260
6. Everyone's photograph
7. Original birth certificate and/or adoption papers
8. Any criminal or court documents, as well as police certificates
9. Military records of service time
10. The divorce certificate if you are no longer married.

Please keep in mind that all documents must be written in English. You must send your paperwork to the National Visa Center once you have gathered all of the relevant documentation (NVC). If your application is qualified, the NVC will contact you for a one-on-one interview.

How to apply for the F3 visa?

An F3 visa application is a lengthy process that typically includes the following steps:

1. A US citizen requests the USCIS to allow their kid, spouse, and children to enter the country.
2. Once the petition is approved by the USCIS, the applicant's family can begin the visa application procedure at their local consulate or embassy in the United States.
3. Fill up and return Form DS-260.
4. Have a medical examination and receive all necessary immunizations.
5. Show up for the visa interview
6. Final approval from the NVC

Petitioning the USCIS

The parent (a United States citizen) must petition the USCIS by submitting Form I-130 (petition for alien relative). At this point, it's critical to include the names of the spouse and any small children. At the time of submission of Form I-130, there is a charge. After passing through the Department of Homeland Security, the petition is sent to the USCIS.

After the petition is authorized, the NVC offers the foreign applicant a specific list of actions to take. If the petition is denied, the USCIS advises the U.S. citizen of any errors in the petition, which can be corrected before resubmission.

F3 Visa Application

Visit the US embassy or consulate in your country to begin the application procedure after receiving the paperwork package from the NVC. Please note that each of the petition's participants will require a separate visa application.

Filing Form DS-260

All immigrants seeking a visa in the United States must complete the Immigrant Visa Electronic Application. Each person, including you, your spouse, and your children, must complete the form and state their purpose for coming to the United States. You will receive a confirmation (page and number) after submitting the form, which must be presented to the NVC along with other documentation.

Medical Examination and Vaccination

All immigrants must get a comprehensive medical examination and receive all essential vaccines from qualified practitioners before submitting their documents to the USCIS.

Visa Interview

After the NVC has cleared your application, the final step in the F3 visa application procedure is to attend an interview at your local consulate or embassy. The officer who interviews you will decide whether or not you are eligible to enter the United States.

How much F3 Visa cost

​Fees set by the USCIS, US Homeland Security, and relevant consulates or embassies must be paid while applying for an F3 Visa. The following fees will be charged:

1. Form I-130
2. DS-260 Form Processing
3. Vaccinations and medical examination
4. Document translation expenses (where applicable).
5. An immigrant fee, which must be paid to the USCIS both before and after your trip to the United States.

F3 Visa processing Time

​Because the number of F3 visas available each year is so restricted, the USCIS takes its time processing petitions. The processing time varies from one to ten years depending on the amount of applications received each year by USCIS.


I hope this information was useful. Complex immigration processing can be incredibly complicated and stressful for everyone. Before filing this application, you should seek legal advice from an experienced attorney.

Immigrationservice.com can assist you and will be there for you every step of the journey. Please contact us via phone or email.