Foreign Nationals who intend on pursuing U.S. Government benefits such as a permanent resident status in the U.S, must receive their immigrant visa at the suitable U.S. Consulates in their home country or U.S. Embassy in the United States.
In terms of non-immigrant visas such as tourist/business, student and specialty workers visas, recipients are only allowed to live and work in the United States of America temporarily. An immigrant visa on the other hand, grants a person the right to live and work in the U.S. permanently.
There are 3 types of Immigrant Visas
- A Family Based Immigration Visa
- Employment Based Visas
- Diversity Visa Lottery (Certain countries are not eligible to participate in the Diversity Visa Lottery – Green Card, those ineligible countries can apply for visas in other visa classifications).
The interview of an immigrant visa application is done at the U.S. Consulate or Embassy of the foreigner’s home country.
Procedure for Immigrant Visas
After a petition is approved, it is then sent by the USCIS, to the National Visa Center (NVC). All applicants must be mindful of the wait time, between receiving the notice of approval from the USCIS and when the NVC receives the petition for processing.
During this procedure, the NVC creates a case record and allocates a case number, in most cases during the first 24 hours of receiving the petition from the USCIS.
The case number is used for tracking the case during the time it will be at the NVC. An estimated waiting timeframe is around 3 weeks from receiving the Notice of Approval; if after this period of time you have not heard from them, you can call the NVC for an update.
The NVC is responsible for sending a letter updating the applicant that they have their file and will handle the case until it becomes current.
The case will be retained until a decision can be made by a consul in the foreign country of the immigrant applying. In certain cases, all petitions are held for several months or even years depending on the type of visa and country of birth of the foreign national.
In the instance of a case becoming current, a visa number will be likely distributed within the same year and the NVC will begin to complete its procedure before the petition is sent to the appropriate U.S. Consulate abroad. Quality control is assured when every petition is examined by at least two officers before it is forwarded to the suitable U.S. Consulate.
If a person applied for an adjustment of status in the U.S., the case will be sent to the suitable USCIS office based on the request of that specific office. It is recommended to not proceed with any further action without having received the notification from the NVC. Taking action can only hinder the visa process. Application forms received by official notifications will be disregarded immediately.
When your Priority Date becomes Current
- The National Visa Center will send an Affidavit of Support (AOS) processing fee invoice to the petitioner and a Form DS-3032 Choice and Address and Agent to the beneficiary. All applicants applying online will need to fill a Form DS-261.
- NVC Payment details are shown online.
- After having paid the I-864 processing fee, the NVC will provide the petitioner with Forms I-864 and Instructions. The applicant will be asked to download forms in which must be completed and downloaded for the NVC.
- After completing the I-864 Form, before sending them to the NVC, including supporting documents and the Bar Code Sheet for the applicant’s case. It is important to not send them to the U.S. Consulate, and ensure that they are sent to the NVC.
- Once the Form DS-3032 from applicants or DS-261 for online applicants is received, the NVC will mail the Immigrant Visa (IV) fee invoice to the officer of choice.
Specifics of the NVC Fee Payment
- After the IV Fee invoice is paid, the NVC will send out an Instructions Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants previously know as Packet 3 to the officer chosen to administer the visa case.
- The applicant’s interview will be held at the suitable U.S Consulate or U.S. Embassy based on the required elements that are found in the Instruction Packet. Make certain that the necessary documents are sent out as stated by the given instructions.
- When the Embassy or U.S. Consulate has received all essential documents from an applicant, in case of DCF cases or standard review posts, an interview will be scheduled within 60 to 90 days once the priority date is current.
- Applicants along with family members (spouse and children) must go for an immigrant visa medical examination and must also show up at the U.S. Consulate for the appointment date of the immigrant visa interview.
- Once the applicant’s immigrant visa is approved, instructions will be given as to where to receive the passport and other important documentation. Failure to follow instructions can result in unfavorable consequences.
Meet with a Knowledgeable Immigration Attorney Florida
In most cases, Immigrant Visas may demand the assistance of an expert immigration attorney. The Gambacorta Law Office is always ready to assist visa applicants regardless of the category of U.S. visa. Contact our immigration visa attorney today for a consultation at 847-443-9303. Our law offices are located in Arizona and Illinois.