What Happens After the Visa Interview?


An Overview of the Immigration Process

When applying for US visas and green cards, the immigration process can be pretty challenging to navigate. Whether you are proceeding with an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa application or are obtaining a green card, you must submit several immigration forms and supporting documents to the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS Office). 

USCIS processing times, however, are known to be notoriously long. US immigration laws also tend to be very strict. As such, it is highly recommended to call a trusted law office before taking any steps. Get the legal services of a local attorney who knows the ins and outs of the immigration service.

A foreign national who aspires to immigrate to the US, become a US green card holder, and, eventually, a US citizen should consult with seasoned New Jersey immigration lawyers early on.

This article will focus on visas and visa interviews. It is divided into six sections, as seen below:

  • Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas
  • Taking Your Visa Application Seriously
  • The Visa Bulletin and Country Caps
  • An Overview of the Visa Interview
  • What Happens After the Visa Interview
  • A Local Attorney from the Right Law Office

 

Immigrant and Non-immigrant Visas

There are several types of nonimmigrant and immigrant visas that one could apply for through the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. Determining which applies to you, and knowing the eligibility requirements for each, is something that you should spend significant time on.

 

Immigrant visas

This type of visa allows the visa holder to travel to and reside in the United States permanently. This visa must be obtained before traveling to the country and is part of the immigration process of getting a green card.

 

Non-immigrant visas

This type of visa lets visa holders visit the United States for specific purposes, such as education, work, business trips, or medical reasons. Its validity is only for a set period, with a clear departure date. Essentially, these are temporary documents that do not come with permanent residence in the US.

One’s immigration status can open up a lot of opportunities for foreigners. When working on your visa, making sure that your application form and supporting documents are complete can help save you precious time. Additionally, a knowledgeable and well-trained New Jersey visa attorney can help you avoid errors.

 

Taking Your Visa Application Seriously

Individuals of a different nationality who wish to immigrate and become lawful permanent residents must know the importance of consular processing or adjustment of status.

Some people are confused about the difference between a visa and a US green card. On the surface, visas are acquired before travel, while green cards are obtained after arrival. Essentially, a visa is usually a stamp in a passport that permits entry into the United States.

Foreign nationals could get a green card and legal permanent resident status through different ways, such as through the national interest waiver or getting married to a US citizen or permanent resident. An immigrant visa could jumpstart such a green card application, but they do not provide resident status themselves. In contrast, a non-immigrant visa will eventually expire after a set period and not a permanent residency path. 

In general, an aspiring green card holder will usually enter the United States using a visa, but not all visa holders have or will be able to get a green card. Getting the services of legal professionals is essential for you to avoid mistakes and stressful proceedings.

 

The Visa Bulletin and Country Caps

The visa bulletin, published by the US Department of State, contains crucial information related to immigrating to the United States. Its primary purpose is to provide an updated waiting list for immigrants who are under the quota system.

For countries whose annual demand for green cards exceeds country caps, the wait time for a green card application is practically longer. The visa bulletin has separate columns for the Philippines, Mexico, India, and China because there are separate green card lines and backlogs for citizens of these countries, which vary for each green card category.

However, it is helpful to keep in mind that the majority of marriage-based green card applications are exempt from the country cap. Generally, spouses of green card holders, regardless of their country of origin, have to wait for the same period before obtaining a green card. This is particularly beneficial for a fiance from the Philippines, Mexico, India, and China seeking a permanent resident card.

 

An Overview of the Visa Interview

During the visa interview, the questions will primarily depend on the type of visa being applied for. In general, however, you will likely be asked questions meant to evaluate whether or not you qualify for the visa. If all aspects seem to be in order, the officer is much less likely to ask numerous questions. They might ask only two or three questions, but more questions are often the norm. The interview itself can take as short as 20 minutes.

 

Non-immigrant Visa

For a temporary visa, the officer will usually test whether there is a plan to return home afterward. Questions would often include:

  • Where do your parents, spouse, and children live?
  • Do you own a home?
  • Do you have work in your home country that you will come back to?
  • What do you plan to do after your stay?

 

Family-based Immigration

In the case of family-based immigration, it is crucial to prove that the marriage is bona fide. The officer could ask about the ceremony, such as the number of guests who attended the ceremony and how correspondence took place during the period when spouses were apart.

In case of a K-1 or fiancé visa application, the officer will attempt to test whether the intended marriage is the real thing. They will probably start by asking general questions, such as how you and your US citizen or permanent resident fiancé met when you got engaged and other details regarding visits or correspondence.

 

Student Visa

In the case of a student visa, the officer may ask what you plan to do upon graduation. Questions may be related to your plans to return to your home country and not remain in the United States.

If you wish to know more about these, it is best to seek legal help from the right people promptly.

 

What Happens After the Visa Interview

Once the visa interview is over and a problem arises in your case, the officer will highly unlikely deny your application on the spot. If you are inadmissible but are eligible for a waiver application, or if the problem that arose can be corrected, they will likely ask you to either apply for a waiver or provide additional materials. From your part, politely ask the officer to put any requests in writing, stating exactly what is needed and why.

In contrast, if everything is in order, you will either be asked to wait for the visa through courier or return another day to pick it up personally. The visa will consist of a stamp on your passport. In case it is an immigrant visa, you might be given an envelope containing key documents that must be given to the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officer, who will greet you at your point of entry. Do not open the envelope. It will be the CBP officer who will examine its contents and do the last check for problems.

It is important to remember that not all applicants will be told whether they have been approved or denied right after the interview. If you are asked to provide additional documentation or evidence (before they can make an approval or denial), make sure to comply and submit the supporting documents as soon as possible.

Some visa applications may require further administrative processing. Here, the officer will inform you of the duration of the administrative processing, which will vary depending on the circumstances of each case.

 

A Local Attorney from the Right Law Office

Any foreign national with plans of immigrating, obtaining permanent residency, or proceeding with an application for citizenship in the United States must first be familiar with basic immigration policy. An experienced New Jersey immigration lawyer will know what visa types are available to you and guide you as you fill out USCIS forms and paperwork. On top of checking your immigration forms, they can also prepare you for your immigration interview and what to do after.

Seemingly simple mistakes could lead to a denial of your visa or green card application. A legal counsel from reliable immigration law firms can help you reduce the risk of rejection, prevent removal proceedings, and, given the worst-case scenario, avoid deportation to your home country.

If you wish to help family members apply for a green card and permanent residence or if you have questions related to your visa status, getting a green card, or applying for naturalization, call our New Jersey immigration law firm. Contact us at Andres Mejer Law and consult with a reliable New Jersey immigration lawyer who will look closely into your case.

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