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ANSWERS TO QUESTIONS ABOUT CONSULAR PROCESSING OF IMMIGRANT VISAS

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Sharlene Sharmila Richards

Q: I am a US Citizen. The I-130 Petition for Alien Relative which I filed for my husband has just been approved. What is the process for him to obtain his Immigrant Visa? He lives abroad.
A: He will obtain his visa through a process known as consular processing. The process is as follows: In approximately 4 to 5 weeks, you will notification from the National Visa Center of the Case Number for your husband’s Immigrant Visa case. You will also receive the instructions as to how to pay the Immigrant Visa and Affidavit of Support Fees including instructions to access and complete the Immigrant Visa application online form known as DS-260 and the types of supporting documents to provide. First you will make the payment for the Immigrant Visa and Affidavit of Support Fees. After the payment has been made and received, your husband will need to complete and submit the online DS-260. For the supporting documents, there is no need to provide any original documents as copies will suffice. The basic documents are a copy of your husband’s birth certificate, copy of the biographic page of his present and valid passport, copy of any US visas he may have or had in the past; copy of your marriage certificate and any divorce decrees for your husband’s previous marriages, if any (including yours, if you were also previously married); Police Certificates, if applicable; arrest and conviction records, if applicable and two passport photos of your husband. In addition to that, as the Petitioner, please also include your completed and signed Affidavit of Support together with your most recent Federal Tax Return and W-2s and copy of proof of your US Citizenship such as your US Birth Certificate or Certificate of Naturalization or biographic page of your present and valid US Passport. Unless the consulate he has been designated for the interview accepts online filing of supporting documents, please mail his documents to the National Visa Center with a copy of the cover sheet containing the case Bar Code (which you will need to print out after the fees have been paid). If all the documentation sent to the National Visa Center is sufficient, you will then receive notification of the interview venue and date. At this time, he will also be provided with instructions for the interview preparation such as how to get his medical report and what documents he will need to take with him to the Immigrant Visa Interview. If you encounter difficulty following the instructions or need assistance with any documentation preparation such as the Affidavit of Support, I suggest you contact an Immigration Attorney for help.
Q: My father attended his Immigrant Visa Interview at the US consulate in Islamabad, Pakistan. After the interview, he was informed by the officer that he needs to wait for them to issue a decision. That was almost 6 months ago and we still have not heard anything. I do not know what to do.
A: Please contact the Immigrant Visa unit of the US Consulate to inquire about the status of your father’s case. I suggest the best way is by e-mail. Most US Consulates have an e-mail address for the Immigrant Visa unit and they do respond to case status inquiries.
Q: My husband attended his Immigrant Visa Interview at the US Consulate. He was informed that because he had previously overstayed for more than one year in the US, he needs a waiver and that they are unable to process the Immigrant Visa until the waiver has been approved. Does she fill in the waiver application and give it to the consulate? What happens then?
A: I suggest that contact an Immigration Attorney to assist you in the preparation of the waiver for unlawful presence. The completed waiver application package is filed with USCIS in the US and will be adjudicated by a USCIS officer, not by the consulate officer. If the waiver has been granted by USCIS, they will in turn notify the consulate of the approval and processing of your husband’s Immigrant Visa will continue. The consulate will then issue your husband with the Immigrant Visa.
Q: My US Citizen sister filed I-130 Petition for me and my family more than 10 years ago and the visa will probably become available next year. All of us except our eldest child already submitted our DS-260 Forms and the supporting documents. Our eldest child had already turned 21 years of age but we believe she still qualifies for an Immigrant Visa. What do we have to do about her situation?
A: As soon as the consulate schedules you and your family for the interview, inform them that your eldest child may still also be eligible to receive an Immigrant Visa due to protections afforded under the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA) and they will determine the child’s eligibility for an Immigrant Visa under the CSPA.

Disclaimer: Any advice provided in this article is general in nature and not intended to constitute legal advice for any specific case. Please consult with an immigration lawyer about the specific circumstances of your case.
My Bio
Sharlene Sharmila Richards is a licensed Immigration lawyer practicing in Houston, Texas. She is a member of the American Immigration Lawyers Association. She was admitted to the New York State Bar in 2000 and is a member of the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals and a member of the US Supreme Court. You may contact her at telephone number 713-623-8088 or by email at srichardslaw@aol.com to schedule a free consultation to discuss your case.


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