Visa Processing at a U.S. Consulate
Procedure for Immigrant Visa Processing (when beneficiary lives outside the United States). Note that Ciudad Juarez asks that the documents are scanned and sent via email.
1. A Petition is filed (usually I-130 by a Relative; sometimes I-140 for Employee/Worker)
2. The Petition is approved by USCIS (about 5 months for Immediate Relatives - the spouse parent or child of a US citizen); longer for all others;
3. The approved petition is transferred by USCIS to US Department of State National Visa Center ("NVC");
4. Unless an Immediate Relative , you must wait until the visa becomes available (see Visa Bulletin for petition priority dates that allow for visa availability);
5. We are sent a request to make payments of filing fees for the Affidavit of Support, and another one for the Immigrant Visa fee; we do it online
6. We make the payments online and wait 2-3 days;
7. We return to the website, and print out the cover sheets that must be sent along with original documents;
8. We send one cover sheet with the I-864 Affidavit of Support and the supporting financial documents (recent income tax return, W-2, last three paystubs)
9. We go to www.ImmigrantVisas.state.gov as instructed and ascertain what documents will be required to mail to NVC. Do this by clicking on the country reciprocity table, and on each of the items that are listed to determine whether they apply to the case at hand.
10. We collect and send those documents –originals- to NVC with the cover sheet. (This is called Packet 3)
11. NVC sends the immigrant visa petition and all related forms and documents (which were submitted to NVC) to the appropriate U.S. Embassy/Consulate abroad, for the immigrant visa interview, and:
12. NVC schedules interview date, and sends us the letter telling applicant to obtain a medical exam and what to bring to interview. (This is called Packet 4).
13. We prepare our client for interview, including what to bring, what questions will be asked.