In this article, you can discover:
- How the process varies depending on whether you are outside the United States or already in the country.
- What the first step in obtaining a family-based visa is.
- One of the most crucial aspects of getting a family-based visa that you may not know.
Who Can File A Family Petition?
- U.S. Citizens that are 21 years of age and older can file for:
- Unmarried Minor children under 21 years old;
- Married son or daughter over the age of 21; and
- Brothers and sisters.
- Permanent residents can petition for their spouse and children (unmarried and under 21 years of age).
- Legal Permanent residents cannot petition their married children, parents, and siblings.
Obtaining a family-base visa involves a complex process that varies depending on whether you are outside the United States or already in the country. This guide will provide an overview on the steps involved in obtaining a family-base visa from OUTSIDE the United States.
1- Filing The Family Petition
The first step in obtaining a family-based visa is filing I-130, family petition. In the instance, where a U.S. citizen is married and wants to file a family petition for spouse, the petitioner must demonstrate that the marriage is a bona-fide marriage and nor for immigration purposes. Supporting documents such as marriage certificate, joint-bills, bank accounts, joint taxes, insurance, photographs, and other corroborating evidence must be included.
Depending of the type of family petition, the petitioner must show that the relation exists for example if you are filing a petition for your sibling, you must include a birth certificate that confirms that a sibling relationship exist.
2- National Visa Center Process
Once the I-130 is approved, the National Visa Center (NVC) will send a welcome letter to initiate the consular process. The applicant must pay the NVS and complete DS-260 form. This form requires various personal information, such as work history, school history, and family background, etc. After the DS-260 is complete, the applicant is able to submit civil documents such as birth certificate, valid passport biographic page, police clearance record and any marriage or marriage termination if applicable to the case.
At the NVC stage, its also required to collect financial evidence and other supporting documents proving that the applicant will not become a public charge. The sponsor does not need to be related to the applicant, but they must meet the income requirements. If the sponsor does not make enough money, they may need a co-sponsor to meet the requirements.
What is needed from the sponsor:
- Proof of sponsor’s legal status in the U.S as a legal permanent resident or U.S. citizen;
- The latest three year of taxes and IRS transcript;
- W-2’s is applicable;
- Proof that Sponsor is currently residing in the U.S. for example, a state Id.
After all the documents are submitted and accepted your case will be documentarily ready for an interview. When an appointment is available, NVC will send an interview appointment notice by email. As such is extremely important to check your email after NVC states that your case is documentarily satisfied because the notice will be given by email.
The applicant will then receive an email with the interview date and time along with the steps that need to be completed before the interview such as the medical exam.
The applicant must then schedule a medical exam with a panel physician approved by the visa issuing U.S. Embassy/Consulate. The medical exam ensures that the applicant is not carrying any infectious diseases or medical conditions that could affect the US population. Additionally, the applicant must provide proof of vaccination against COVID-19, although there are some exceptions for religious or medical reasons. For more information on Process To Obtain A Family Based Visa In US From Outside The US, an initial consultation is your next best step.