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What Is the United States Visa Process?

New Canaan Visa Process Lawyer

Fairfield County, CT Lawyer Assists Immigrants With Family Visa Processing

The application and approval process for family-based visas is extensive and involves several steps. Some steps are taken by the U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident (LPR) who is the petitioner/sponsor. Other steps are taken by the intending immigrant who is applying for a green card. To ensure that these steps are completed smoothly and without unnecessary delays, it is helpful to work with an immigration attorney who has in-depth knowledge of the visa process.

At Gonzalez Law Office, LLC, we have over 15 years of experience and a strong track record of success helping intending immigrants navigate the complexities of the visa process. Attorney Hector Gonzalez works closely with clients to ensure they fulfill all the requirements for the visa they are applying for and that the process is as smooth and seamless as possible. Attorney Gonzalez is skilled, compassionate, and dedicated to doing everything legally possible to help families stay close together on their immigration journey.

The Family-Based Visa Process

Intending immigrants who want to apply for an Immediate Relative, Family Preference, or K visa must complete all the steps and fulfill all USCIS requirements. The steps in the visa process are as follows:

Step 1: File a Petition

The U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident sponsor files a petition with the USCIS along with sufficient proof of a family relationship. The document that is normally filed is Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative. Supporting documents may include proof of U.S. citizenship or permanent residence (e.g., birth certificate, passport, naturalization certificate, green card), marriage certificate (for a K-3 spouse visa), and other documents that demonstrate the relationship between the petitioner and the intending immigrant/beneficiary.

Step 2: USCIS Decides on the Petition

After several months, the USCIS either approves or denies the visa. If the visa is approved, the case is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for additional processing. If the visa is denied, you will need to find out the reasons for the denial. If these are issues that can be successfully addressed, then it may be possible to appeal the denial or file a new petition.

Step 3: Wait for Available Visa (for Family Preference category applicants)

If you are applying for a visa through one of the family preference categories, there are annual numerical limits, and a visa will not be available right away. At this point, you must wait for your priority date (the date in which your application was filed) to become current. The wait time is typically several years, depending on your preference category and country of origin.

Step 4: Submit Application for Immigrant Visa

Once the petition is approved and a visa becomes available, the intending immigrant/beneficiary must apply for a permanent resident visa. If the beneficiary is living abroad, the application is processed through the local U.S. Embassy/Consulate. The NVC and Consulate send the beneficiary various forms and instructions, including where to go for the required medical examination and how to schedule the required interview with the Consulate. If the intending immigrant is already in the United States legally, an adjustment of status is required, and the interview takes place at a USCIS office inside the U.S.

Step 5: Applicant Attends In-Person Interview

If the intending immigrant is living abroad, he/she attends a personal interview with the U.S. Consulate. At the interview, the consular officer asks the applicant various questions to confirm the information that was already submitted. If the consular officer gives final approval, the applicant is issued an immigrant visa to enter the United States, become a lawful permanent resident, and receive a green card.

Speak With a Seasoned Greenwich Visa Process Lawyer

The family-based immigrant visa process can be complicated and frustrating, but with a skilled advocate by your side who understands the process, it becomes much easier. Attorney Hector Gonzalez has helped numerous intending immigrants reunite with their family members in America. He can fully assess your specific circumstances to determine which type of family visa you may qualify for and what it will take to complete the process.

For a consultation with Attorney Gonzalez, contact us today at 203-323-1440. We serve clients in Stamford, Fairfield County, Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk, Bridgeport, Waterbury, Hartford, and surrounding Connecticut communities, as well as communities throughout Westchester County, NY. Se Habla Español.

Fairfield County Bar Association Connecticut Bar Association American Immigration Lawyers Association Connecticut American Immigration Lawyers Association
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