You may know that if you want your spouse to immigrate to the U.S., you must first file Form I-130, the Petition for Alien Relative, with the Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This is what starts the process moving, but what happens next?
Fees and visa application
Once USCIS approves your petition, it goes to the National Visa Center (NVC) for the assignment of a case number. You, as the petitioner, and your spouse, as the applicant, will receive instructions about paying the appropriate fees. These include fees for filing the Form I-130, the medical examination and vaccinations for your spouse and fees for obtaining the appropriate documents for processing the immigrant visa application.
The following documents are usually required:
- Passport for the applicant, valid for six months beyond the date of entry into the United States
- Affidavit of Support from you, the petitioner
- Form DS-260, the Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration Application
- Two 2 x 2 photographs
- Civil documents for the applicant, such as birth certificate and marriage license
- Medical examination forms completed by the physician who attended the applicant
Once the applicant’s file contains the required documents, the NVC will schedule the visa interview appointment. The file will go to the U.S. Consulate or Embassy where the applicant will attend the interview. The consular officer will provide the applicant with the passport and immigrant visa. From the filing of Form I-130 forward, the entire process obviously takes time, but with the entry documents finally in hand, your spouse will soon be able to join you in the United States.