Since the immigrant visas have numerical limitations with priorities set in a yearly basis, those waiting for the availability of their visas must base the status of their petitions according to their priority dates. The visas are issued in the chronological order in which the petitions got filed, according to the numerical limitations for each visa category.
The official date that the petition was filed is an applicant’s priority date. Certain categories take many years before reaching the priority date, mainly because of the quota for each year being filled up very fast.
After receiving the long awaited visa notice, what’s next?
Upon receiving the official notice from the U.S. Department of State – National Visa Center (NVC), a number of mails containing packets and correspondences will provide the necessary information and steps on what to prepare and the things to do prior to the visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate.
All required documents must be carefully prepared ahead of time to avoid problems during the visa interview.
The following documents must be prepared prior to the visa interview: passport, birth certificate, police certificate, and other civil documents. Evidences of relationship or association with the one who petitioned is also crucial. For instance, in a family petition, the applicant must bring new and old photos, letters, and other items that can prove the relationship with the petitioner.
The applicant must provide both the original documents and photocopies.
The applicant must also bring the official letter confirming the date of the visa interview at the U.S. embassy. Failure to bring this would mean that s/he won’t be allowed entry to the embassy.
The completed medical examination forms must also be submitted during the interview.
Medical Examinations and Vaccinations
The NVC provides instructions regarding the medical examinations that must be fulfilled before the interview. The applicable phone numbers and websites where visa applicants can also check more specific information about the process will also be provided in NVC letters.
Prior to the interview, the required medical examination must be completed in any of the embassy’s duly accredited clinics or hospitals. The medical examination also includes the completion of any required vaccinations. Under U.S. immigration law, an immigrant visa applicant must obtain specific vaccinations before the issuance of the visa. There are some medical conditions that may be approved for waiving certain vaccinations.
Although it is possible to already schedule the visa interview ahead of time, the applicant must first pass the medical examination before attending the interview. In cases that delays with the medical examination results happen, the applicant must get in touch with the embassy to reschedule the interview.
The following documents and processes require the payment of fees: petition papers, processing of the immigrant visa application, and medical examination. The cost of each one generally varies per country. Each intending immigrant must pay the applicable fees, regardless of age and visa category. Any fee paid is non-refundable.
The application may also require additional expenses for any of the following: translations of required documents to English; photocopying expenses; fees for obtaining required documents such as the passport, police certificate, and birth certificates; phone calls to the embassy; and travel expenses going to the embassy for the interview.
Ineligibilities for a Visa
Even though the visa notice already confirmed that the visa application has been approved by the NVC, there are certain conditions and activities that may make the applicant ineligible for the visa. The initial validation from the documents sent for the approval of the visa must again be validated during the visa interview at the embassy. The consular officer will inform the applicant if s/he is ineligible for a visa, and if there is a particular waiver for the ineligibility, along with the procedure that must be done for it.
Since it is not possible to have advance assurances that a visa will be issued, it is important not to make any final arrangement regarding immigration plans ahead of time. Properties should not be disposed of and jobs must not be given up until the visa gets issued.
The immigrant visa is generally valid for six months from the issuance date.
“Required Documents for Visa Applications,” Embassy of the United States of America in Manila.
“Immigrants to the U.S.,” U.S. Department of State – Bureau of Consular Affairs.
Green Card Through Marriage Immigraiton Interview – Practical Tips,” Fast Pitch Networking.
Employment-based Categories for Green Card Application
Family-based Categories for Green Card Application
Important Information for Foreigners Intending to Immigrate to the United States
What to Do when Attending the Tourist Visa Interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila, Philippines
How to Schedule a Tourist Visa Interview at the U.S. Embassy in Manila
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