A foreign national must get an immigrant visa to immigrate to the United States and to live there permanently. There are different types of immigrant visas that are available for the people who wish to immigrate to the United states. It is not a very easy task to immigrate to America and it involves filing various forms and various steps are involved in the immigrant visa process.
Generally, to immigrate to the United States and to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign national must be sponsored by a US citizen relative, US Green Card holder or by a potential employer. Once you decide to immigrate to the United States, the first step that you must take is to file an immigrant visa application with the USCIS. An appropriate form depending on your category must be filed.
If the foreign national is sponsored by a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident sponsor who is residing in the United States, the person who is sponsoring must file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the USCIS Chicago or the Phoenix Lockbox facility. If a US employer is offering a job to a foreign national, the potential employer must file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker.
The immigrant visa petition filed by the US citizen family member or the employer must be approved by USCIS. After the immigrant visa petition is approved by USCIS, the preliminary processing of the visa with the Department of State, National Visa Center, will begin.
It is the duty of the National Visa Center(NVC) to provide instructions to the sponsors and visa applicants. The NVC will review the required Affidavit of Support forms submitted by the sponsors. It will receive the required fees, application forms and other supporting documents that are required. Certain immigrant visa categories are assigned a numerical limit. For such categories, the NVC will contact the applicant after the priority date becomes current.
After verification of the required documents, the NVC will schedule an interview with US Embassies or Consulates. The immigrant visa case files of the applicants will be sent by the NVC, to the US Embassy or the Consulate, where the interview is scheduled. After you get an interview appointment from the NVC, you must get prepared for the immigrant visa interview. You must prepare for the medical exam and make sure that you possess all the required original documents to be submitted at the time of the interview.
Diversity Visa Program is another way through which a foreign national may obtain an immigrant visa to immigrate to the United States. This program provides visas to applicants drawn from countries with low immigration rates to America. The other immigrant types require a US sponsor, but the Diversity Visa (DV) program does not require a US sponsor. It also does not require a visa petition.