All foreign citizens who wish to immigrate to the country and live there legally need immigration visas. The person intending to travel to the country must first obtain a passport from his home country. The passport enables the person to travel from one country to the other. He then applies for a US visa from the US embassy in his country, and the visa is placed on the passport. Getting a visa allows one to travel to the US. The person can travel to any port of entry in the country, any airport, or any land border in the US when he or she has a visa. Travelers should note that having a visa is not an assurance that one will enter the country, although it does increase the chances of entry. The visa shows that the consulate in the applicants’ country has determined that the applicant meets all the requirements of traveling to the US, for the purpose that he has indicated. After obtaining the visa, the traveler can then seek permission from different agents such as the Department of Homeland Security, and Customs and Border Protection inspector, which will enable him to enter the country. Employment based immigrants need to show evidence that they have the financial means to sustain them when in the country, and they require an Affidavit of Support form.
Persons seeking immigrant visas have to be sponsored by a US citizen who can be a relative, a lawful permanent resident or a prospective employer. The person should have received an approval from the US Citizenship and Immigration Services. They have to sign the petition for alien worker, although they can file for immigrant petitions outside the US. The petition for alien worker signed in the US has to be approved by the USCIS and processed by the National Visa Center. NVC provides the petitioners with the necessary information they need for visa processing. Sponsors should show that they have the necessary financial means to support the immigrant, and they have to sign the Affidavit of Support. There are different visa processes depending on the different categories of immigrants. Family based immigrant visas can be immediate relative immigrant visas. They include spouse of a US citizen, an unmarried child of a US citizen who is under 21 years, an orphan adopted abroad by a US citizen, orphans who are adopted by US citizens in their country of origin or in the US, and the parent of a US citizen who is 21 years old or older. Family based visas can also be family preference immigrant visas, which are for relatives that are more distant. First preference family includes US citizens’ unmarried sons and daughters and their minor children. Second preference include married couples, children below 18 years, and unmarried children who are 21 years old and over of lawful permanent residents. Third preference includes married children of US citizens, their partners, and children below 18 years. Fourth preference includes brothers and sisters of US citizens who are 21 years old or older, and their minor children
When bringing in immediate family members, the first step is to file a petition. The sponsor has to sign different immigrant visa petitions for each of their children. Children who are born outside the country after their parents become US citizens can qualify for citizenship, and they should apply for a US passport. The children have to apply for immigrant visas if the embassy determines that they are not US citizens. The NVC begins processing the visa and instructs the applicant on the necessary fees. Fees include charges for an immigrant petition, processing the visa application, medical exams and vaccinations, and other costs such as translation and photocopying. Once all the fees are paid, NVC requests the applicants to submit the necessary documents, which include the affidavit of support, forms for applying for an immigration visa, government documents, passports, photographs, and medical examination forms. The next process is the visa interview in the US embassy. Spouses and minor children have to apply for immigration visas, and they must go through the same processes of filing petitions, filling forms, obtaining civil documents, paying fees, undertaking medical exams, and going for visa interviews.
Bureau of Consular Affairs. (2012). Immigrants to the United States. Retrieved from http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/immigrants_1340.html