If you want to immigrate to the United States and live there permanently, you must get an immigrant visa. An immigrant visa is a proof you are a US resident and living legally in the country. However, the process of getting a US immigrant visa is complex and an uphill task.
Family-based immigration is a popular immigrant visa category. Before applying for a family-based immigrant visa, you must be sponsored by any one of the following:
– A relative who must be a US citizen
– A legal, permanent US resident (green card holder)
Your sponsor would initiate the immigrant visa process on your behalf by filing a petition with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Typically, a US citizen can initiate an immigrant visa petition for a spouse, children, parents, and brother and sister. On the other hand, a legal permanent US citizen can file an immigrant visa petition for a spouse, a single son, and a single daughter.
The sponsor would file an I-130 Petition for Alien Relative with the USCIS. If the petition is approved, it would be sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), where it will get a case number. If you don’t already have an attorney, the NVC will ask you to fill and submit Form DS-261. Next, you and your sponsor would get instructions to pay the fees, followed by the submission of the required documents, including passport(s), civil documents, application forms, and Affidavit of Support.
When your file is complete, the NVC would schedule your interview appointment at the US Embassy or Consulate where you will be interview for a family-based immigrant visa. The NVC would send your file along with the petition and your documents to the embassy or consulate before the interview.
A consular officer would interview you and decide whether you meet the eligibility criteria and satisfy the provisions of US immigrations law for a family-based immigrant visa. If you get a US immigrant visa, the consular officer will present you your passport with an immigrant visa enclosed.
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