How to Check About the Immigrant Visa Application Process

By Richard Ludwig
A permanent resident has the right to work in America.
Todd Warnock/Lifesize/Getty Images

The process for immigrating to the United States is filled with paperwork, waiting and bureaucratic headaches, but the final reward is permanent residency, and possibly American citizenship. If you are deciding on the possibility of immigrating to America you can check on the visa process to decide if you meet the requirements, and research how to go about filing. When filing for an immigrant visa you will connecting with the U.S. Department of State and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

Decide which immigrant visa you will be applying for. The visa process is based on under what circumstances you are immigrating to the country. A different process is required for relatives of U.S. citizens than for those with a job offer. The process diverges among categories, such as between an immediate relative of a U.S. citizen and a family member of a U.S. citizen. For information about different ways to immigrate to the United States check with the U.S. Department of State. Be aware that most immigrant visas require a U.S. citizen sponsor.

Know what information is required. The main reason immigrant visa applications are denied is missing information and lack of proper documentation -- all circumstances which can be prevented. After you have decided which visa you will be immigrating under the required documentation is laid out. All visas will require an application,usually Form DS-260, passport, birth certificate, two passport photos, fee and supporting evidence for your specific visa. For example, to get a visa for an immediate family member a petition for alien relative, Form I-130, must first be filed first. After approval, an online immigrant visa application, Form DS-260, must be completed.

Prepare yourself for the interview. All immigrant visa applicants are required to interview with a consular official. At the interview the applicant is required to present additional documentation related to their visa. A medical examination is required before attending the interview.

Keep track of your visa application status. Before you file your visa application you can check with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' website for processing times. The consulate official who conducts your interview should tell you how long the expected wait time. Some immigrant visas require special administrative process which will add time to your application.

About the Author

Richard Ludwig has been a writer for over eight years and has had his work published in "Co-Ed Magazine," the "East Manatee County Observer" and the Disaster and Recovery e-magazine. He received journalism and sociology degrees from the University of South Florida.