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Immigration Corner | What is the IR2 category?

Published:Tuesday | November 23, 2021 | 12:08 AM
Dahlia Walker Huntington
Dahlia Walker Huntington

Dear Mrs Walker-Huntington,

I am a naturalised citizen of the US who recently filed for my four-year-old daughter from Jamaica. I noticed that she is in the IR2 category.

What exactly does this mean? Will she receive an American passport from Jamaica like I have seen with other persons?

Thanks in advance for your assistance.

– RR

Dear RR,

The IR2 category is the minor child (under 21 years old) of an American citizen. That beneficiary is an immediate relative, and the interview for permanent residency (green card) will be available as soon as all documents are processed and there is space to accommodate the interview at the US Embassy in Kingston. Keep in mind that there are thousands of persons who are caught in a backlog for interviews because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Once the minor child is granted permanent residency – which is what you filed for – migrates to America, and lives with you, the child can become a US citizen immediately. She must, however, live with you to qualify for this extraordinary benefit. You can apply for a US passport from the US Department of State shortly after her arrival, as well as a Certificate of Citizenship from US Citizenship & Immigration Services – which is unrefuted proof of her US citizenship.

On the other hand, if your daughter was born while you were already an American citizen, you should have registered her with the US Embassy in Jamaica as an American born overseas, simultaneously with an application for a US passport.

Dahlia A. Walker-Huntington, Esq, is a Jamaican-American attorney who practises immigration law in the United States; and family, criminal and international law in Florida. She is a diversity and inclusion consultant, mediator, and former special magistrate and hearing officer in Broward County, Florida.