Have you ever wanted to know all about the US Immigrant Visa? There are lots of information or details for you to get to know. And also, many users online always or often make mistakes because they don’t actually access the right platform for this information.
So, you should then read further and then get to know all about this topic and when you are reading this article you should read it step by step for a better understanding.
US Immigrant Visa
For you to be able to visit or live in the US, many residents of different countries simply then need visas. Visas are stamps in your passport that then give you the right to travel to various countries. A US visa allows you to then make plans for you to visit or live in the US.
A US visa does not simply then grant you entry into the US. This is then determined by the officials at any of the US point of entry who can then detain and also then return you if they have a reason. Common reasons simply include security concerns or other suspicions.
However, if you then meet all the requirements and you do not simply pose any threats to the US, its residents, and visitors, then you will also be allowed to enter the US if you then have a visa.
There are also various US visa types, but the two major groups are:
- US nonimmigrant visas.
- US immigrant visas.
This article will then go through the immigrant visa USA, what these visas are and even also the various types of visas.
What is an Immigrant Visa?
Immigrant visas simply then give its holders the right to then stay in the US permanently. Whereas with a US nonimmigrant visa, the person has been required to then return to their home country when their visa expires, an immigrant visa does not then expire. It then allows you to live, work, and also study in the US or simply engage in any activity you like.
Once you then get the immigrant visa, you do not need to renew it or extend it. It is then valid permanently unless you then engage in an illegal activity in the US to then have your immigrant visa revoked.
The immigrant visa does not then constrain you to stay in the US, but you can still then travel in and out of the US anytime you simply want and not to have your visa in danger of being revoked or cancelled as long as you then have a valid Re-entry Permit.
Additionally, if you then live in the US for a specified period of time without any violations, you can even also apply for a citizenship and if approved, you will then become a US citizen. Differences between a Green Card and a visa
What are the US Immigrant Visa Types?
Just like the US nonimmigrant visas, there are even also several US immigrant visa types. They can even take on different categories depending on how you can then get the permanent visa. There are two major categories of immigrant visas:
- Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored.
- Employer Sponsored.
Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored Visas
The Immediate Relative visas and Family immigrant visas means that you are simply joining your close family who live in the US permanently. This can then be your parents, fiancé, or spouse. If you then have family in the US, or you will then become engaged or married to a US citizen, then you are eligible for this category of immigrant visas.
The table below simply then provides the names of the Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored visas and short descriptions of each.
IR-1, CR-1 Visa: US Spouse Visas
The first category is the US marriage visas. These visas are simply then given to those who are legally married to a citizen of the US. Merely living together does not then count as being married, so you will even have to prove marriage by documents.
There are two types of spouse visas:
- Conditional Resident (CR-1) Visa – means that you have then just been married and for 2 years you will simply then maintain conditional status. This is to then prevent marriages from happening only for obtaining permanent residence in the US.
- Immediate Relative (IR-1) Visa – after you have then been married for 2 years, you will then gain permanent status without the conditions of the CR-1 visa.
K-1 Visa: Fiance Visa USA
The K1 visa is given to a person engaged to a US citizen to then go to the US for 90 days. During those 90 days, the couple is then expected to be married so as to start filing for the petition to get a spouse visa.
K-2 Visa: Children of K-1 Visa Holders
The K-2 visa is simply given to unmarried children under the age 21 years old of K-1 visa holders, so the US citizen’s fiancé(e).
K-3 Visa: Spouse of a Green Card Holder
This visa has then been created to shorten the time that the married couple is then away from each other while one of them is simply waiting for their petition to be approved.
When a foreign citizen and also a US citizen are married, they file the petition to then get a spouse visa. While this petition is being processed, the spouse can then obtain a K-3 visa so as to then be able to live in the US.
K-4 Visa: Children of K-3 Visa Holders
This visa is then intended to be given to unmarried children under 21 years old of K-3 visa holders, so the children of the spouse of a US citizen.
Read: K1 visa vs K3 visa
IR-3, IH-3, IR-4, IH-4: Intercountry Adoption of Orphan Children by US Citizens
This group of visas is been intended to be used by US citizens who then adopt children from countries other than the US. The children can then get one of the four visas.
- IH-3 visa is for children who are simply adopted from a country on the Hague Convention. The children who then get the IH-3 visa are allowed to enter the US and then also get US citizenship. The citizenship is then given automatically only to the children who are under 18 years old when they simply enter the US for the first time.
- IH-4 visa is the same as the IH-3 visa, but the children who then enter the US do not get a US citizenship immediately, but after the adoption is complete.
- IR3 visa is then given to children after the adoption procedure has then been completed. The child must then be from a country which does not even require re-adoption when the child enters the US. The children who are then under 18 years old get automatic citizenship when they first enter the US.
- IR4 visa is also for children whose adoption will then be completed after they enter the US. Initially, the parents will also become legal guardians of the child and also then will file for the adoption process once the child is inside the US.
IR-2, CR-2, IR-5, F-1, F-3, F-4: Certain Family Members of US Citizens
This group of visas is for the family members of US citizens or the people that they will then marry.
- IR2 visa is for the unmarried children under 21 years old of IR-1 visa holders, so the spouse of a US citizen.
- CR-2 visa is also for the unmarried children under 21 years old of CR-1 visa holders, so the spouse a US citizen. The couple must then be married less than 2 years for this visa to apply.
- IR5 visa is for the parents of a US citizen who is then older than 21 years old.
- F-1 visa has a cap of 23,400 visas has then given to unmarried sons and daughters of US citizens and their minor children.
- F3 visa then has a cap of 23,400 visas for married sons and daughters of US citizens as well as their minor children and spouses.
- F4 visa has also a cap of 65,000 visas and is for siblings of US citizens, their minor children, and even spouses. For this visa to apply, the US citizen must then be at least 21 years old.
F-2A, F-2B: Certain Family Members of Lawful Permanent Residents
The F-2 visa is for the minor children, spouses, and also unmarried children of those who have immigrant visas.
This visa has two categories:
Employment Sponsored Visa
The US employer sponsored visas are then immigrant visas which then allow its holders to work permanently in the US. The US government limits the number of employments based on the visas that they give to around 140,000 per fiscal year. The table below then shows the different types of employment-based visas.
Eb-1 Visa: First Priority Workers
The First Priority Workers are those who simply then get the EB1 visa and they can also be in three groups:
- Outstanding professors and also researchers who are recognized internationally.
- Persons with extraordinary abilities in arts, sciences, business, education, or athletics.
- Multinational managers of executive who have worked overseas for at least one out of the past three years for a US branch, subsidiary, or parent company.
Eb-2 Visa: Second Priority Workers
The Eb2 visa category of employees simply then includes two groups:
- Professionals holding an advanced degree, who the either have a Bachelor’s Degree and also five years of work experience in that profession, or have then completed a higher education degree beyond their Bachelor’s Degree.
- Persons with the exceptional abilities in arts, sciences, or business.
Eb-3, EW-3 Visas: Third Priority Workers
The third priority workers simply then include these groups:
- EB3 visa: Skilled workers who then have at least two years of experience or training in that particular profession and then who are not seasonal or temporary.
- Professional workers who then simply need at least a Bachelor’s Degree or a US equivalent to work in their profession.
- EW3 visa: Unskilled workers who do not simply need at least two years of experience or training to work in a particular position.
Eb-4 visa: Fourth Priority Workers – Certain Special Immigrants
- Religious workers (SD visa and SR visa).
- Broadcasters in the US.
- Current or Former employees of the US government.
- Iraqi employees of the US government (SQ visa).
- Afghan employees of the US government (SQ visa).
- Iraqi and Afghan Interpreters or Translators (SI visa).
- Certain Foreign Medical Graduates.
- Certain family members of International Organization Employees (spouses and unmarried children), etc.
EB5 visas: Fifth Priority Workers
The last group of the EB5 visas is then been targeted at investors, who invest:
- At least $1,000,000.
- $500,000 in a high unemployment or rural area in the US.
Based on this, there are then four types of investor immigrant visas:
- C-5 visa for investors who create jobs outside of target areas.
- T-5 visas for investors who create jobs in targeted rural or high unemployment areas.
- R-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program not in a target area.
- I-5 visa for investors who participate in an Investor Pilot Program in a targeted area.
US Immigrant Visa Application Process
The second type of US visas, the immigrant visas then have a different type of US visa application requirements. They too start at a US consulate or embassy and then you have to follow these guidelines for application for US visa which is then of an immigrant type.
File the petitions
If you are then simply applying for an immigrant visa based on family reunion or employment, the family or employer in the US must then submit a petition for you at USCIS. This petition will then be reviewed by the responsible authority and also you must then only wait to find out whether it will then be approved or not. You cannot simply take any further steps without an approved petition, since if it is denied, all your efforts and payments will not be counted.
If your petition is then approved, you will simply be then directed to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will then require you to go through more steps in order for you to get to your visa interview. You will even receive a letter from the NVC which will then have important information that guides you through the application process. Amongst that important information are your NVC Case Number, Beneficiary ID Number, and Invoice ID Number.
Choose an agent
The agent will then also serve as your point of contact for your visa matters. You must then formally and legally select an agent to be able to proceed with the immigration visa application. You can even then choose yourself as an agent or you can simply choose an attorney, friend, family member, or sponsoring employer.
To choose your agent you must then file Form DS-261, Choice of Address and Agent to the NVC which will then take at least 3 weeks to be processed.
Pay the US Immigrant Visa Fees
There are at least two fees you have to pay when applying for a US immigrant visa:
- Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee.
- Affidavit of Support Fee.
You can then pay these fees by credit card or check and also you will need to then complete this step online based on the guidance found in your NVC letter. You will then also need your NVC Case Number and also Invoice ID Number to proceed with this step.
Submit US Immigrant Visa Application Form
If you are then applying for an immigrant visa you should then simply fill Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration. You should not complete your immigrant visa application until you are then simply invited for the interview and your date is current. To file for the Form DS-260 you will then need your NVC Case Number, Beneficiary ID Number, and also Invoice ID Number. At the end when you then submit it, you will also even get a confirmation page and number.
You will then have to give personal details as:
- Full name in English characters.
- Full name in Native Alphabet.
- Date of Birth.
- Place of Birth.
- Home Address.
- Phone number.
- Family information: Parents, spouse/previous spouse, children.
- Previous US Travel Information.
There are even also a couple of questions on security and also the Background related to:
- Medical and Health information.
- Criminal Information.
- Security Information.
- Immigration law violation information.
- Miscellaneous, etc.
All answers must then be in English, with English letters, in both application forms. Most of the questions are even mandatory, but there are also some other optional questions that you can then choose not to answer. At the end of the application, there is also a “Sign Application” button which you should then click on. If you do not then click on this button it might result in US visa refusal.
After you fulfill the form, submit it and also then print the confirmation page. Take this page with you when you then attend the interview as proof of submitting the application.
Submit Supporting Documents for US Immigrant Visas
Besides the standard required documents, depending on the type of immigrant visa you are simply then applying for, you might then be asked to submit additional ones. Note that all documents should be in English and also those that are not must be accompanied by an official and notarized translation. You must then be able to submit these documents to the NVC based on the information you have received on the letter.
Attend Your Interview
Based on your current date, the NVC will then simply schedule your visa interview with you and also any accompanying family members. This is then usually done one month in advance to then give applicants time to then prepare documents and also prepare for the interview. At the interview, you will then be asked questions by an official and it will be also determined whether you are eligible and also meet all the requirements for a US immigrant visa.
What are the US Immigration Forms?
Based on which category of immigration and also which type of immigrant visa you simply want to apply for, there will be several forms that you must then fill out and even submit during the process. For the immigration process, someone from the US must then first send out a petition on your behalf to the US Citizenship and also Immigration Services (USCIS).
This petition is even then different depending on the type of visa and the purpose, but it simply then means that the petitioner is asking the US government to approve the applicant for an immigrant visa. All of these forms then have fees that your petitioner must simply then pay before they can get processed.
Below will then be some of the most popular forms that people have to fill out during the US immigration application process.
Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance
This form is been sent out by a US citizen who is then engaged to a person from a foreign country. The couple is already then engaged and that they have filed their documents for the fiancé to come to the US permanently. To simply shorten the time that the couple has to be apart, the US government will then simply give the fiancé a visa to come to the US so the couple can get married.
Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative
This form is simply been used by any family member who is a US permanent resident or citizen to petition the government to approve an immediate family member to come to the US. This is then used for family sponsored immigration visas and is only for spouses, parents, or children and even does not apply for other extended family members.
Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker
This form is then been used by employers who then want to hire a person from a foreign country as an employee. If you then apply for a job in the US and are hired, the employer will then send this form with your information and also reasons why you should then be allowed to come to the US to work permanently and why your skills are valuable.
Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur
This form is been used by those who then want to invest in the US economy and also get a visa that way. These are called investor visas and the person must then simply invest from $500,000 to $1 million in a US company and also then create a certain number of jobs to get this visa. However, they must then first petition the US government by submitting this form to be allowed to invest that amount.
Form I-800A, Determination on Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country
Many US couples want to simply then adopt children from foreign countries and even before they are allowed to do that, they must then go through a lengthy process. One of the steps in this process includes you filing this form so that they can then get inspected by the US government. The government decides whether the couple fulfills the criteria to adopt a child.
Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application
This form is then the one that all those who are simply applying for US immigration must then fill and also then submit to the US Embassy. Since the US government moved their application portals online, all those that are seeking to immigrate in the country must submit a Form DS-260.
This form then collects your basic information such as your name, address, family information, employment and even education details and so on. It also then gives you space to state for which type of immigrant visa you are then applying for and why you then want to immigrate.
At the end when you then submit this form, it will also then give you a confirmation page and number, which you then need to save since you might be asked to send it to the National Visa Center (NVC).
How to find US Immigration Services?
When you then decide to apply for a US immigrant visa, you will then have to go through different institutions and also services to then complete this task. The services and also institutions you will then have to go through depending on your visa can be as follows:
- US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) – is the place where your petitioner must simply then submit the petition forms for the applicants.
- US State Department – is the institution which will go through various application forms and also documents.
- National Visa Center (NVC) – will go through your approved petition and even send you an informative package with all the necessary steps and also forms you must then take to apply for the immigrant visa.
- US Department of Labor (DOL) – is the place where companies must then get their labor certification before they are been allowed to hire an employee from a foreign country.
- US Embassy in your home country – is where the applicant submits their final application and also then has the visa interview. This step is then conducted only after the petition and even other documents have been approved.
The process for you applying for a US immigrant visa can then be long and also then tiresome and that is why many people then seek help from other places. There are even countless lawyer offices which will then help you fill out forms and also documents for a fee.
Additionally, there are even visa centers which you can then pay to complete the entire application process on your behalf and then all you will have to do is to pay them their fee and even sign any documents that they might then ask you to.
Because the forms are confusing and long, a lot of applicants then choose to have either a lawyer or a visa center assist them in getting their immigrant visa to the US.
Merit Based Immigration
The current US administration has then continuously been opposed to the current immigration laws and also regulations.
Merit-based immigration means that the criteria to then get a US Green Card would then be based on certain achievements that they have rather than by mere chance. This could then include demographics, education, job prospects and so on.
In the US, the proposed bill is then being called the Reforming American Immigration for Strong Employment Act or the RAISE Act. The RAISE Act point system will simply then assign each applicant a certain number of points based on their qualifications.
Health Insurance Coverage for Immigrants in the United States
The health insurance policy for the holders of immigrant visas in the US is similar to that of US citizens. Immigrants and also citizens of the US have to purchase their health insurance through private companies because the US does not even have a national healthcare system that simply covers all groups of people.
Can A U.S. Citizen Sponsor an Immigrant?
All sponsors must or should then be U.S. citizens or permanent residents, be at least 18 years old, and also should be living in the United States (including territories and possessions) when they file the affidavit of support.
Is an Immigrant Visa the Same as A Green Card?
The key difference between the two is that the US visas simply allow the bearer to enter the country and be able to stay for a certain period of time for a specific purpose, while a Green Card is simply a permit for immigrants that then grants permanent residency in the United States.
How Long Is the Immigrant Visa Process?
Generally speaking, a fair timeframe is simply approximately 6-10 months from the filing of the immigrant petition to the approval at the U.S. Consulate. Timeframes can even then vary depending on backlogs of cases at both the USCIS and also the U.S. Consulate abroad.
What Is the Easiest Way to Immigrate To USA?
Immediate relatives are the spouses of US citizens, parents of US citizens, and even unmarried minor children of US citizens. There is even no limit on the number of visas available each year for immediate relatives. Being a US citizen’s spouse is even the fastest, also the easiest way to immigrate to the US.
How Long Is Immigrant Visa Valid For?
You must then arrive in and also apply for admission to the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa. An immigrant visa is even usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which might then make your visa valid for less than six months.