Get to know applicant steps in green card application process from outside US.

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U.S. citizen’s immediate relative or one who qualifies into one family-based preference categories need to maintain their relation during the green card application process. If you marry US citizen or are one of the immediate family members like parents  living outside US the steps discussed below would be useful.

Following are the general steps involved for applicants outside U.S.:

Step 1: Complete Form DS-3032. The applicant will receive from the National Visa Center the Form DS-3032 to know if the applicant has an attorney to fill in the application on her/his behalf. So the mailing address for future paperwork will be the one provided by the applicant on this form.

Step 2: Next the immigrant visa fee bill will be sent to the address provided once National Visa Center receives the DS-3032 completed form. Current fee for immigrant visa processing is $355 and $45 is charged for visa security. After careful review applicant should make correct checks or money orders separately for the two and send to correct agency.

Online payment can be made to the National Visa Center at its website. The case number and invoice identification number (located on the National Visa Center fee bill) and the individual’s bank routing number and account number (checking or savings) details need to be provided while making online payment.

Step 3: Complete the instruction Packet

National Visa center will send the Instruction Packet once they receive the visa fee which is also called the Packet 3. Depending on the consulate which will ultimately process the application the instruction packet sent by the National Visa Center will differ. Normal contents are:

  • To show that the visa processing has begun a bar coded cover sheet will be sent by the National Visa center.
  • Notice listing the vaccination requirements
  • immigrant visa applicant instructions
  • Form DS-2001
  • Part 1 of Form DS-230,part 2 if required for the specified case
  • Forms or additional instructions specific to the consulate designated.

Depending on the National Visa center either all the documents or some of them would be collected for pre-screening. During the interview appointment remaining documents need to be submitted directly to the consulate. This information can be decided by reading the instructions sent by National Visa Center.

One original or certified copy of the additionally required documents as listed below need to be submitted

  • Birth certificates
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce / marriage termination documents
  • Prison and court records
  • Deportation documents, military records and police certificates
  • Passport identification page photocopy
  • Custody documents
  • Passport style photographs two of each applicants

At the time of interview original documents will be returned. Duplicate copies of the submitted documents should be retained, in case of any of them are damaged or lost, by the applicant. Any pre-processing if required will be done once all the forms and supplementary documents are received by the National Visa Center. Additional information will be requested in case of incomplete documentation. The application file will be sent to the designated consulate after the administrative processing is complete by the National Visa center.

Step 4: Obtain a medical examination

The National Visa center or the consular post will send an Appointment Package to the applicant approximately one month before the visa interview appointment date and it’s called Packet 4. A letter to the applicant informing him or her of the interview date and also when and where to obtain the medical examination will be in the packet. As early as possible before the interview the medical examination needs to be completed. Immigrant related exams performed only by authorized physicians are accepted else it’s not accepted and further delays the application processing.

Step 5: Attend the Interview

Instructions in the appointment package will include the interview date and time and will have information with regard to documentation to be taken to the interview. Appointment letter, passports, information package documents yet to be submitted to the National Visa center like photographs, document to establish the relation between applicant and sponsor and financial documents are some of them. If documents are not in English a certified English translation is a must. Duplicate file copy of any documents already or to be submitted during interview must be taken by the applicants. Review of the submitted paperwork for accuracy and questioning of the applicant regarding the application content is done during the interview by the consular officer.

The interview process will be quick and simple if the applicant has provided correct documents and not found inadmissible. The document showing the financial support of the applicant once she/he is in US will be the main point in the interview so it should be thorough and detailed. The visa will be issued is the basis of the immigrant visa is valid. The applicant may have to return to the consulate at a later time to receive the visa or have it mailed to them since the visa processing takes several hours. In case visa is denied the principle consular officer must review and confirm it before its final. Denial decision can also be referred for review to the Department of State by the consular officer in case of a legal issue and the former’s decision is final and can’t be reviewed by judiciary in court.

Step 6: Entering the U.S.

Six months of validity is there for immigrant visa and partly based on medical examination validity and it could be valid for less than six months also. The immigrant visa holder needs to enter U.S. before it expires.

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4 Comments

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