Tracking Family Visa Applications in DC

The Department of the State frequently updates their visa bulletin so that people applying for immigrant visas can track priority dates, application status, and visa quotas. When someone is applying for a family visa, it is important that they check the visa bulletin. Having an attorney to review someone’s application, evidence, and other material for a family visa can be important to ensure that everything is correct to prevent it from being denied.

Tracking family visa applications in DC is an important element when someone is in the process of applying or has applied for a family visa. A knowledgeable DC family immigration attorney can help you when you are applying and ensure that the paperwork and evidence are sufficient.

Receipt of Notice

A receipt notice is called Form I-797, Notice of Action. It is a document issued by USCIS to acknowledge that an application has been received. The importance of a receipt notice is that the receipt notice will contain important information about the application submitted. For instance, a receipt notice will show the priority date, which will allow the beneficiary to determine how long he or she must wait in order to apply for an immigrant visa or adjust.

The receipt notice shows whether the petition was filed by a United States citizen or lawful permanent resident. It also shows the date it was received by USCIS, establishing the priority date, which will determine when the beneficiary may adjust or complete immigrant visa processing. The receipt notice also acknowledges that the proper fees have been paid and it will provide a receipt number, which can be cross-referenced at USCIS.gov to determine how quickly the application is being processed and what service center is processing the application.

Receipt notices will allow the petitioner and the beneficiary to track the progress of an I-130 petition; detailed information will be provided, including if the application has been transferred to another office. This will enable the petitioner and beneficiary to track the processing times for each service center and anticipate when they will be scheduled for an interview.

Visa Bulletin

The visa bulletin is released by the Department of State each month to show the number of immigrant visas available at each family preference and employment based category. The visa bulletin shows when each preference category can apply for an immigrant visa. This is determined by the priority date of the application, in other words, the date that the I-130 was approved for the family-based preference, and the priority date for I-140 for employment-based preference category.

The visa bulletin can be found at the Department of State website. The visa bulletin alerts the intending immigrant that they are eligible to submit an adjustment application or that they will be receiving notification from the National Visa Center that the beneficiary may begin the DS-260 immigrant visa application.

Tracking Information

The priority dates advance or retrogress each month on the visa bulletin. It is worthwhile to check whether the beneficiary is eligible to submit an I-485 Application or begin getting the documents together that will be requested by NVC at a future date.

Beneficiaries from certain countries like China, India, Mexico, and the Philippines should expect to have a longer wait time and should frequently check the visa bulletin to see if there is any movement. Another point to keep in mind is that those beneficiaries that have minor children included in the I-130 petition as derivatives are protected by the Child Status Protection Act (CSPA).

Hiring a Lawyer

There are several changes for family visas. Before 2002, when a United States citizen or permanent resident filed a petition on behalf of an unmarried child under the age of 21. When that child reached 21 waiting for their priority date to become current, the child would age out and be no longer eligible to be a derivative in their parent’s petition. However, under CSPA, the time the visa petition was pending can be subtracted from the beneficiary’s age at the time that the visa became available so that the derivative beneficiary is not adversely affected by the time that USCIS took to adjudicate the petition. With these changes, it can be a complicated process attaining a family visa. It can be beneficial to hire an experienced immigration attorney who can help your family through this process.

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