Immigration Visa Process

Family-Based Immigration
Immigration Visa Process

Submit a Petition

To being the process, your relative within the U.S. will complete a Form I-130 with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on your behalf. The petitioner must be a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident living within the United States. If your petitioner requires assistance with your visa application, an experienced immigration lawyer can help.

NVC Processing

Once your petition has been approved by the USCIS, your case is transferred for pre-processing at the National Visa Center. A case will officially be created in NVC’s system, where it will await reviewing. 

Pay Fees

You must pay your processing fees as soon as possible. Both the Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee and the Affidavit of Support Fee are required to be paid before your case can progress.

File Provisional Unlawful Presence Waiver

In order to receive a provisional unlawful presence waiver, the applicant will need to prove that their U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse and/or parent will suffer “extreme hardship” if they are not admitted back into the U.S.

Online Application

Once all of your fees have been processed, you must complete the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. This is done entirely electronically and can be accessed through the Consular Electronic Application Center.

Affidavit of Support

Your petitioner will be asked to sign an Affidavit of Support documenting that they accept financial responsibility of your during your time within the United States. With responsibility traditionally lasts until you become a U.S. citizen or have secured at least 10 years of qualifying work under the Social Security Act. The petitioner who completed the Affidavit of Support will be asked to provide the USCIS  with financial documentation and additional supporting documents to confirm they have sufficient income to support you during your time in the United States.

Civil Documents

To help support your visa application, you will be asked to provide civil documentation. Birth certificates, passports, and military records are a few documents you can gather to support your application.

Submit Documents

Before your case can be placed in line for review at the NVC, you are required to scan and submit civil documents for each individual in your family who is immigrating. If all the necessary documents have been submitted correctly, your case will be placed in like to schedule an application interview. If corrections are required, you will be notified and provided instructions on correcting documents or errors.

Interview Preparation

Before your scheduled interview date, you must gather originals of all of your supporting civil documents and complete the required medical examination from an embassy-approved physician. 

Applicant Interview

You will meet with a consular officer on the scheduled date and time to determine whether or not you are eligible for a visa. You must bring your appointment letter, your passport, and additional supporting documents to your interview.

After the Interview

Following your interview, your application will be accepted, denied, or held for administrative processing. If accepted, you must arrive and apply for admission before the expiration date printed on your visa and pay the necessary Immigration Fee to the USCIS. If denied, the consular officer will inform you of the reason for ineligibility.  In some instances, you may qualify for a waiver of ineligibility.

In the case of administrative processing, you may be asked to submit additional documentation or information to aid in the decision.

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