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Can I Bring My Family To The U.S As An R-1 Visa Holder?

Updated: Sep 25, 2023

As an R-1 visa holder, you can take advantage of the visa’s benefits. You can use your visa to gain valuable experience living and working in the U.S. for up to five years. Plus, you can apply for permanent residency if you meet all eligibility requirements.

But being away from your family can dampen your desire to stay for long. So, if you intend to bring your family to the U.S. with an R-1 visa, you can do so by helping them apply for an R-2 visa.

R-2 Visa for Your Loved Ones

The U.S. offers many opportunities for foreign nationals who wish to experience living and working in the country. As such, if you want your family to experience living in the U.S., you may do so through an R-2 visa petition. This nonimmigrant visa allows your spouse and unmarried children under 21 to accompany you to the U.S. To apply for an R-2 visa, all eligible family members must have a valid passport and pass the documents to their home country’s U.S. consulate. As an R-1 visa holder, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) permits you to petition on behalf of your family members, whether you are already living in the U.S. or preparing to leave your home country.

The Pros and Cons

Although the R-2 visa allows your family to come with you to the U.S., it does come with certain limitations. For example, R-2 visa holders are not permitted to work in the U.S. If a family member is seeking employment in the U.S., they may need to apply for a different visa or find a willing employer who can change their status to one that provides employment authorization in the U.S.

But an R-2 visa also comes with certain advantages. With an R-2 visa, your family can stay in the U.S. for the duration of your R-1 visa (up to five years). Plus, your children can attend school in the U.S. without requiring a separate F-1 student visa, whether they attend full-time or part-time.

Working towards an R-2 can be challenging if you are planning for your family to visit you or hoping to bring them with you to the U.S. While the application process can be lengthy, it can be a rewarding experience to finally live and work in the U.S. with your family by your side.

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