In order to apply for an immigrant visa, a petition must be submitted on your behalf. This and the subsequent steps can be quite complex, and knowledge of your rights and responsibilities is a must if you hope for your application to be approved. The U.S. Department of State offers the following information in this case, which details each step of the process.
Submitting a petition
Your application will need to be sponsored to get started. For instance, a U.S. citizen can petition for a spouse, child, parent or sibling, while a lawful permanent resident can petition for a spouse or unmarried child. An employer can also file a petition on behalf of an employee. The petition must be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. Within the United States, individuals need to file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, while employers must utilize Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
If your petition is approved it will then be sent to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, where pre-processing takes place. At this point, you can choose an agent, who is a person that will represent you during the visa process. Next, you’ll need to pay two separate processing fees, which are the application fee and the affidavit of support fee.
Collections & submission of forms
Here you’ll need to complete the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration and submit backing documentation. This includes information on your finances, so you can establish your ability to support yourself and any family members coming with you. For instance, you may be asked to submit a pay stub or direct deposit receipt, business license, or information on a retirement account. Other documents may also be required, such as marriage and birth certificates, court records, military records, and other items.
After documents are processed you’ll be asked to undergo an interview. Before the interview, be sure to bring together originals of all requested documents and to undergo a medical screening. You’ll also need to present two color photos of each person applying for a visa. You will learn whether your application has been approved at the end of the interview. You must appear at the scheduled interview date and time or you run the risk of having your application terminated.