The United States of America is one of the most attractive destinations for immigrants. As being one of the most desired countries to settle down, the United States of America experiences a great of the influx of foreign immigrants every year.
If a person plans to settle down in the United States of America, he must apply for the immigration visa. Immigration visa is an application process, which entitles a foreigner to hold the rights to live, stay, and, work in the US.
Status of Your Country in the US Immigration Policies
The US government updates its immigration policies every year after reviewing the impacts of the old immigration rules. It is a general practice that every country marks some nations as favorites and gives extra leverage to their favored nations. You must check the status of your country as per the new immigration qualifications. In the past, Donald Trump administration banned a few countries for US immigration. It is always a wise thought to check the updated immigration policies before even planning to apply for the immigrant visa.
Though we will be jotting down all the essentials about immigration laws in the USA, it is always better if you take help of professional who can guide you all through. Having someone—such as Carmen Fullerton, immigration lawyers in Lexington—who can stand up to your expectation and make you understand the legalities while applying for immigration visa can be indeed bring relief to you.
Visa Waiver Program (VWP)
According to the Visa Waiver Program, the residents of 38 countries are entitled with special permission to enter the US without a visa. There’s a general confusion that the residents of participating nations need not apply for an immigration visa. Visa Waiver Program only allows getting business or travel visa of the US up-to 90 days. For an immigration visa to the US, a standard application process is required. Let’s see what the usual immigration process in the United States of America is.
According to the Homeland Security Department, Electronic System For Travel Authorization is a must requirement for the travelers under the Visa Waiver Program. A traveler must submit ESTA to board on the ships and planes to the U.S. These are the following eligibility requirements to submit ESTA.
- Citizens of Visa Waiver Program country
- You are not holding a visitor visa currently
- Your plan to explore the US is not more than 90 days
- You wish to apply for a new Electronic System For Travel Authorization for an individual or a group
- A valid passport and a valid credit card to submit ESTA fee
- Recent employment details (if any) with the contact information.
Why should you apply for the Immigration Visa of the US?
Permanent residents of the United States are entitled to many facilities by the US government. Lawful immigrants can apply to all the jobs available in the US and, they don’t get deported in case of termination of employment. According to the American Immigration Council, immigration to the US is subjected to the following principles.
- Unification of the families with the already permanent living foreign residents
- Intake of skillful workforce
- The influx of refugees from unstable regions of the world
- Promotion of diverse cultures
The immigrant visa is the only way to avail the status of a lawful permanent resident of the US.
Initiation of the Visa Process
You can apply for the Immigration visa in the different categories. There are six categories for the immigration visa.
- Family-based Immigration Visa: in this category, the US citizens and LRPs can initiate the process of immigration visa for their immediate relatives.
- Employment-based Immigration Visa: skillful labor persons can apply for the temporary or permanent immigration visa in this category
- Limited visa opportunities: the US authorities make sure that all the nationalities get the fair share in the immigration. Any country can’t get more than 7% representation in the total number of immigrants.
- Visa for the Refugees: anyperson who is unable to return to its home country can apply for the immigration visa as a refugee or an asylee.
- Diversity-based Immigration Visa: according to the Immigration Act of 1990, 55000 random immigration visas are granted each year. These random visas compensate the nations with low representation in immigration.
- Humanitarian Relief Visas: the US government allows the status of TPS (Temporary Protected Status) and DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) to those people who can’t return to their home because of unstable conditions.
- US Citizenship through Naturalization: persons with LPR status can apply for the US permanent residentship through naturalization. To avail this category, you must retain the LPR status or green card though spouse for at least five years.
Only a legal US citizen can initiate the immigration visa process for a foreigner. It can be a relative, spouse, friend, employer, or a human rights agency representative.
Filing of the Petition
The sponsor of the immigration visa has to file a visa petition at the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (UCIS). The legal sponsor of the visa will wait for the decision on the visa petition by the UCIS. If a person doesn’t qualify for the immigration visa, UCIS mentions the reason in the rejection notice. In case of acceptance of the visa petition, the National Visa Center informs the sponsor and the applicant.
Process of Visa Allotment
National Visa center receives thousands of visa application every year, which may lead to a delayed response to your visa application. NVC allows a visa number to every immigration request and keeps the record of it. It processes the application further and receives the visa fee with relevant documents. The UCIS collects the immigration fee before the issuance of Green Card. You may not submit the original documents of your related documents. Photocopies of your required documents, i.e., birth certificate, marriage certificate, etc. are enough.
Submission of Documents to NVC
You can submit your documents to the NVC according to their requested method.
- If the follow-up letter from the NVC asks to initiate the online process, you may upload your documents through Counselor Electronic Application Center account.
- In your visa number has a prefix, i.e., ABC, XYZ at the start, you have to submit your documents as an attachment at the NVCelectronic@state.gov email id.
- The last option is to send all your documents to the NVC to their mailing address. If NVC doesn’t ask you to follow a particular method, you can mail your documents.
Appointment for the Visa Application
NVC will ask you to appear in an interview through Appointment Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants. Your package contains the appointment letter, vaccination details, and medical exam requirements. You are asked to appear in the nearest embassy or the consulate. You have to submit your documents before your appointment date. If you are unable to do so, you must inform the consulate to re-schedule your interview.
After Visa Allotment Process
A qualified immigrant will receive the seal packed immigration documents. These documents must be presented to the U.S authorities at the time of arrival at the United States of America. In case of a successful inspection of the visa documents, the immigrant is allowed to enter the U.S. The Green card is issued later on and is sent via email.