An Introduction to Permanent Visa

Most people move to the United States due to official transfers or business purposes. Out of this population, large number of people desire to settle down in the United States by obtaining a legal permanent residency status. Those who are entering or plan to enter the United States desire for a permanent visa as a ‘Lawful Permanent Residency’, also known as ‘Green Card’ which grants complete freedom for residing or working permanently in the country. However, one must know the overlying laws and regulations in order to understand the legal procedures and the related information, to obtain the status of a permanent resident. The main aim of BAIS as a firm is to correctly guide interested applicants through the whole process. We have a dedicated team which helps you to obtain accurate information from our comprehensive online database which covers the whole spectrum of immigration.

Submit a Petition

The immigrant visa, as the name suggests, is a document issued by U.S. consular officer outside of U.S. that allows n individual to travel to U.S. and apply for getting admission to the country as a permanent resident. In order to apply for this type of visa, the foreign citizen must have sponsorship either from his/her prospective employer, relative who is a citizen of United States, or a permanent resident of United States. In addition to this, the sponsor must file a petition with USCIS also called U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.

A lawful permanent resident of U.S. can file immigrant visa petition for either spouse or unmarried son or daughter. A U.S. citizen can file an immigrant visa petition for parent, brother/sister, spouse, or son/daughter.

Petitions Needed to be Filed in the United States

U.S. citizens and lawful permanent resident patronizes residing in the United States file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the USCIS Chicago or Phoenix Lockbox facility, following instructions on the USCIS website. U.S. employers file Form I-140, Petition for Alien Worker, as mentioned on the USCIS website.

Those (applicants) who are already staying in the United States, need to file a form I-485. The form I-485, is an application to register permanent residence or adjust status. Adjustment of Status is a process through which an eligible applicant can acquire permanent residency of United States without having to apply for an immigrant visa from a foreign country.In order to get an E-notification that the petition has been accepted at the USCIS Lockbox facility, form G-1145 must be submitted.

Immigrant Petitions Outside of the United States

Those residing abroad or outside of United States must check if USCIS has an international office in the city. If it does, then the petition can be filed at the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility or the international office of USCIS. If USCIS office is not in the city of residence, the petition can be filed at U.S. Embassy or Consulate office. On approval of immigrant visa petition by the USCIS, an individual can start with the application process for immigrant visa.

After the Approval of Petition

Once the petition has been approved by the USCIS, it is sent to the NVC or the National Visa Center of the Department of State for pre-processing. The pre-processing procedure involves collection of forms, documents, and visa fees from the applicant(s) and sponsors (Sponsors may also be referred to as petitioners).

The United States provides limited immigrant visa numbers depending on the visa categories. Thus, approval of petition by USCIS doesn’t imply immediate assignment of immigrant visa number. However, for some visa categories, the immigrant visa number depends on the date on which the petition was filed. This date is termed as priority date.In order to check the priority date, go to the website below:

U.S. Department of State

Note that those who have their petition approved from NSCIS and have submitted required documents at NVC, must ensure that they wait for an update from the NVC before submitting any other forms or documents. When the pre-processing has been completed, applicant’s case will be considered as current. Only after the case is current, the applicant can proceed with the further processing.

Read more about Permanent Visas.

Note that a permanent resident card is issued to those who are granted permanent residency in the United States.