F2A family visa is for spouses and children, and unmarried sons and daughters of permanent residents. There is an annual quota of 114,200 F2A family visas available plus the number (if any) by which the worldwide family preference level exceeds 226,000, plus any unused first preference (F1) numbers. F2A family visa category receives 77% of the overall second preference (F2) limitation, of which 75% are exempt from the per-country limit.
The US State Department maintain an updated monthly list of the wait times for F2A family visa applications. The monthly list wait times is called the “Visa Bulletin” and can be found on the US Department of State website. The Visa Bulletin will show various dates under each family visa category (F1 – F4). The date listed therein is the date in which the visa applications they are currently processing were filed.
Please note that once an applicant applies for a F2A family visa that they would not qualify for a tourist, business or student visa because such visas require an intent “not” to immigrate to the US. By filing the F2A family visa application, an applicant is declaring they have an intent to immigrate to the US and such makes them ineligible to receive a “temporary non-immigrant visa” such as tourist, business or student visas.
F2A family visas allow the holder to receive a US permanent residence. However, the wait for F2A family visas to become available takes many years. Thus, the F2A family visa is only an option for applicants who do not need to travel to the US in the near future.