Moving to the U.S. can be a very exciting time, and one that requires a lot of pre-planning and organization to help it go as smoothly as possible.
The process itself is both rigid and complex, so it is very important that you follow the proper procedures from the onset.
Obtaining an immigrant visa is the most critical first step for all foreign citizens who want to move to the U.S.
So, if you are a foreign citizen who wants to immigrate and live permanently in the U.S., you will be required to comply with U.S. visa and immigration laws, and you must follow the specific procedures to apply for visas.
Under the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the government entity responsible for all immigration matters.
Here is a basic step-by-step guide of the current immigrant visa process for family immigration, as well as employment-based immigration. It is meant as a simplified overview of a very complex process.
For more complete information and guidance regarding U.S. immigration processes and procedures, and to ensure that you always have the most up-to-date and accurate information, please visit the DHS website via the following link: DHS website.
Step-by-step Overview of the Immigrant Visa Process
Step 1: You begin the process by submitting a visa petition to USCIS. Foreign citizens are required to be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative, a U.S. lawful permanent resident, or by a prospective employer, and be the beneficiary of an approved petition. The sponsor must file a petition with USCIS, and your petition must be approved by USCIS before you can begin the immigrant visa application process.
Step 2: Approved petitions are sent to the Department of State’s National Visa Center (NVC) for pre-processing. During pre-processing, the NVC will collect visa fees, forms, and documents from sponsors (petitioners) and immigrant visa applicant(s). You will be notified by the NVC when your case becomes current or is likely to become current within a year, and they will ask you to begin next steps in processing your approved petition.
Step 3: Formally choose an agent to represent you for your visa processing. Your agent will receive communication from the NVC about your case.
Step 4: Pay your processing fees as follows: (1) Immigrant Visa Application Processing Fee; and (2) Affidavit of Support Fee.
Step 5: Submit your visa application form and collect and submit the required documents to the NVC.
Step 6: Your file will be reviewed for completeness, and then once your case becomes qualified for an interview, the NVC will schedule your interview at the appropriate U.S. Embassy or Consulate. A letter will be sent to you as well as to your petitioner (sponsor), and your agent/attorney if applicable as notification of the date, time, and location of the interview once there is one available.
Step 7: You and your family need to prepare for the interview by doing the following: scheduling and completing a medical examination, preregistering for courier services, and gathering other documents that are required for the interview.
Step 8: Attend your interview at the scheduled date, time, and location, making sure to bring all required documents and information with you.
Step 9: At the end of your interview, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application has been approved or denied.
Additional International Moving Resources and Information
When people are planning an international move, they typically have many frequently asked questions regarding everything from whether there are restrictions on what can be shipped internationally, to questions about the best way to pack for an international move, and the way in which personal belongings are shipped overseas.
That is why we have put together this invaluable resource. Please click on the following link to view our list of International Moving FAQs.
At Daryl Flood, we recognize that you might have many more questions when it comes to planning your international move.
The good news is, that we truly understand what it takes for a successful international move. So, whether you need information about moving to the U.S. from the U.K., Canada or anywhere around the world, we are always here to answer your questions and give you professional advice you can trust.
Please contact us anytime for information about moving anywhere that your life might take you.