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Tuesday, December 5, 2023

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Understanding The Next Steps In The U.S. Immigration Process After Form I-130 Is Approved

What to do after Form I-130 is approved?

After your Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, is approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the next steps will depend on the specific circumstances of your case, including whether your spouse is in the U.S. or abroad. Here’s a general overview of what to do after Form I-130 is approved:

  1. National Visa Center (NVC) Processing (If Spouse is Abroad): If your spouse is outside the U.S., the approved Form I-130 is typically forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. You’ll receive a notice from NVC with instructions on how to proceed. This includes paying processing fees and submitting required documentation, such as the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864), civil documents, and supporting evidence.
  2. Affidavit of Support (Form I-864): If you are the sponsoring spouse, you’ll need to submit the Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) to demonstrate your financial ability to support your spouse. You’ll need to include financial documents, tax returns, and other evidence to meet the income requirements.
  3. Consular Processing (If Spouse is Abroad): After completing the NVC processing and submitting all required documents, your spouse will attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in their home country. The consular officer will evaluate the application, conduct the interview, and make a decision on the immigrant visa.
  4. Medical Examination: If your spouse is applying for an immigrant visa abroad, they will likely need to undergo a medical examination by a U.S. embassy-approved panel physician. The results of the medical examination will be submitted as part of the visa application.
  5. Attend Visa Interview (If Abroad): Your spouse will attend a visa interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate. The purpose of the interview is to verify the authenticity of the relationship and assess the eligibility of the immigrant visa applicant.
  6. Immigrant Visa Issuance (If Abroad): If the visa is approved, your spouse will receive an immigrant visa in their passport. They can then travel to the U.S. with the immigrant visa.
  7. Entry into the U.S. (If Abroad): Upon entering the U.S. with the immigrant visa, your spouse will become a permanent resident.
  8. Adjustment of Status (If Spouse is in the U.S.): If your spouse is already in the U.S. and eligible for adjustment of status, you can proceed with filing Form I-485, Application to Register Permanent Residence or Adjust Status. This step is used to transition from nonimmigrant status to permanent resident status without leaving the U.S.

Remember that the specific steps and requirements can vary based on your individual circumstances and immigration status. Always refer to the official USCIS website and any instructions provided by USCIS or the U.S. embassy or consulate for the most accurate and up-to-date information on how to proceed after your Form I-130 is approved. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the process, consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney to ensure a smooth transition to the next steps. Read more “list your business in the” “free and paid submission to the” “add your site” statistics

How long does it take to get Form I-130 approved?

The processing time for Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, can vary depending on several factors, including the USCIS service center where the petition is filed, the volume of applications being processed, and the specific circumstances of the case. Here’s a general idea of processing times for Form I-130, but please note that these times can change and may vary based on current conditions.

As of my last update, USCIS provided estimated processing times on their website, categorized by the service center and the type of relationship being petitioned (immediate relatives vs. family preference categories). These processing times can range from several months to over a year.

Here are some approximate processing time ranges as of my last update, but remember that these times are subject to change:

  • Immediate Relatives (spouse, parent, unmarried child under 21 of a U.S. citizen):

    • USCIS California Service Center: 7.5 to 27.5 months
    • USCIS Nebraska Service Center: 11.5 to 26.5 months
    • USCIS Texas Service Center: 11.5 to 27.5 months
  • Family Preference Categories (adult children, siblings, etc.):

    • USCIS California Service Center: 20 to 32 months
    • USCIS Nebraska Service Center: 24.5 to 37.5 months
    • USCIS Texas Service Center: 23 to 38.5 months

It’s important to keep in mind that these are general processing time estimates and can vary widely based on individual cases and changing circumstances. To get the most accurate and up-to-date processing time information, visit the USCIS website and check the specific service center’s processing times for Form I-130. Additionally, USCIS might update its processing times periodically, so it’s a good idea to check regularly if you’re tracking the progress of your petition.

If your case is taking longer than the estimated processing time, you can contact USCIS to inquire about the status of your application. If you’re uncertain about any aspect of the Form I-130 process or your individual circumstances, consider seeking advice from an immigration attorney.

How long does it take DS-260 to be processed by NVC?

The processing time for Form DS-260, Online Immigrant Visa Application and Alien Registration, by the National Visa Center (NVC) can vary based on factors such as the type of visa being applied for, the volume of applications being processed, and the specific circumstances of the case. Here’s a general idea of processing times for Form DS-260, but please note that these times can change and may vary based on current conditions.

Form DS-260 is typically associated with the process of consular processing for immigrant visas. After the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) approves Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative), the case is transferred to the NVC for further processing, which includes the completion and submission of Form DS-260 by the intending immigrant.

As of my last update, the NVC provided estimated processing time ranges for different stages of the consular processing journey. These times can vary depending on the visa category, the applicant’s nationality, and other factors. Here are some approximate processing time ranges for different stages:

  • Case Creation and DS-260 Submission:

    • NVC provides case number and instructions: A few weeks to a few months after I-130 approval.
    • DS-260 submission and document collection: Varies, but typically a few weeks to a few months after receiving NVC instructions.
  • Document Review and Visa Interview Scheduling:

    • Visa availability for immediate relatives: Varies; priority is given to immediate relatives of U.S. citizens.
    • Visa availability for family preference categories: Varies based on visa bulletin and visa category.

It’s important to keep in mind that these are general processing time estimates and can vary based on individual cases, changing circumstances, and the overall demand for immigrant visas. To get the most accurate and up-to-date processing time information, visit the U.S. Department of State’s Visa Bulletin and the NVC’s processing times page. Additionally, check the NVC’s case status tool for updates on your specific case.

If you’re inquiring about the status of your DS-260 submission or consular processing, consider reaching out to the NVC or the U.S. embassy or consulate where the visa interview will take place. If you’re unsure about any aspect of the process, consulting an immigration attorney can provide you with personalized guidance.