How To Get An Immigrant Visa For USA?
A visa is the first thing you will need for your US visit. It is an official permit that allows you to stay there for a specific duration or as a permanent resident. The visa allotment is a strict and complex process followed by the legal authorities to ensure that only the eligible and limited number of people are getting access to the green card.
When people ask for an American visa, they are essentially asking for a lawful way to become residents in America as soon as possible. The modern USA rules do not open the Permanent Lawful Residency for all individuals. To hold your green card, you might have to wait up to 10 years or more in some categories.
However, the categories can differ from one to another. While a job offer works for a skilled employee, having a relationship with the USA’s existing resident helps. Similarly, there is a diverse Visa lottery system for the applicants from eligible countries and investment opportunities for the businessman to gain permanent residency in America.
All the individuals have to apply for their specific Visa category and fulfill the eligibility criteria for a lawful permanent residence. One thing to keep in mind is to plan your journey properly and to stay updated about the rules, as the wait can be excruciatingly long. Therefore, it becomes essential that you are choosing the correct category to enter the USA.
The two main categories of Visas are Immigrant and Non-immigrant categories. In the Non-immigrant category, you will return once the visa expires, unlike the immigrant category, where you gain permanent lawful residency.
Once you have acquired the immigrant visa, you don’t need to renew it or extend it. Also, you can travel outside of the US anytime you want without your visa being revoked or canceled. You can enroll in university and get a job opportunity like any other US citizen. Also, if you have lived in the US for a specific period, you can apply for US citizenship as well, provided you have not violated any laws.
Below is the differentiation of Non-immigrant and Immigrant visa
- Business visa
- Employment visa
- Tourism visa
- Medical treatment visa
- Education visa
There are over 20 subclasses for the short-term visa, including Religious workers visa, Domestic employee visa, Exchange visitor visa, Student visa, Ship crew or Transit visa, Work visa (including H1B, H2A, H2B, LI, H4, etc.) and Media and journalist visa.
- Immediate Relative and Family-Sponsored
Eligibility For US Visa
The foreign applicants need to fulfill the eligibility criteria while applying for a US visa.
- A passport with a minimum of 6 months validity.
- They must not have any criminal records or criminal cases on them.
- Dependents and spouses must apply for a different Visa.
- The individual must have enough money to support himself and his family.
- The applicants will have to undergo the medical fitness test
- The applicant should have strong ties to his present country of residence
- The applicant should have a valid reason for traveling to the USA
- The applicant should not have any infectious disease.
US Visa does not necessarily grant you an unquestionable residency, and the authorities can still deport you back to your country if they have a reason. Before you apply for the visa, go through the following-
- Select the type of visa you want to apply for
- Check the eligibility criteria
- Check your finances
Now that you are done with the basics, you can proceed further
- File your petition- Whether you are applying for employment or a family reunion, your pre-residing family or employer will need to file a petition for you as USCIS for approval. Post-petition approval, you will need to visit National Visa Center in your country and follow the steps to get an interview with authorities. After this, you will be awarded a letter from NVC with information like your NVC Case Number, Beneficiary ID Number, and Invoice ID Number to guide you through the application process.
- Choose the legal expert- You must select an expert legally and formally who will be your point of contact for helping you through the immigration Visa application. Your agent can be an attorney, friend, family member, or sponsoring employer. For this, you will need to submit a form having DS-261, Choice of Address, and agent to the NVC, which will take at least 3 weeks to be processed.
- Pay your immigration fee- The next step will be to pay the Immigrant visa application process fee and Affidavit or support fee. You can pay this online or by cheque and add the associated details with this step.
- Submit the application form- As an immigrant, you will need to fill the form DS-260, Application for Immigrant visa, and Alien registration. You will be required to fill in your letter’s details like NVC Case Number, Beneficiary ID number, Invoice ID number in the form. In the end, you will get the confirmation after submitting the fee.
- Submit your documents as enlisted- Besides the standard enlisted documents, you might be asked to submit the additional documents. The documents must be in English or translated into English from the original copy.
- Attend your interview- Based on the current date; your interview will be scheduled with your dependents. The applicants will be informed a month prior so that all the documents can be arranged on time. After that, you will be informed whether you are deemed eligible for the visa or not.
Most Frequently Used US Immigration Forms
- Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance
- Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
- Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
- Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
- Form I-800A, Determination on Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
- Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
What Are The Reliable US Migration Services You Can Connect With?
You will have to go through various institutions and services to complete the task for visa application processing. These centers are as follows-
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)- Here, the petitioner will submit his petition form.
- US State Department- This is the center where the officials will go through the documents and forms.
- National Visa Center (NVC)- The officials will go through the approved petition and deliver the letter containing your informative packages for further process.
- US Department of Labor (DOL)- Companies will have to get the labor certification for the employees they want to hire from foreign.
- US Embassy in your home country- The place where the applicants will submit the final application form and have their visa interview.
Other Immigration Categories
Merit-based Visa Immigration-
A merit-based visa allows the individual with specific achievements to have a chance at a Green card instead of luck. For each achievement and qualification, they will be allotted points. The selection can also depend upon demographics, education, job prospects, and so on. This application is known as the RAISE Act point system (Reforming American Immigration For Strong Employment Act.)
Diversity Visa Immigration-
The Diversity Visa program works like a lottery system for Green Card distribution. Individuals from countries having a low number of permanent residency applications can apply for this opportunity where US law makes 55,000 visas available for foreign nationals.
This is only if you have the minimum qualifications and you fulfill the eligibility criteria. However, the possibility of having a visa depends upon luck. The countries with more applicants for DV also lower your chance of selection. On selection, you will be allotted an immigrant visa number immediately, and you will need to fulfill the application before the visa runs out that year.
Getting your hands on an immigration visa is a tricky and lengthy process. However, by following the legal process and expert guidance, you can make sure that your permanent residency dream comes true as soon as possible.