Immediate Relative (IR) Immigration
Immediate Relative (IR) Immigration
U.S. immigration law allows immediate reletives to immigrate to the United States. "Immediate Relatives" include: the spouse, the wido(er), the unmarried children under age 21, and the parents of a U.S. citizen who is over 21 years.
There are four steps to this process:
- File the petition
- Gather Required Documents for the Interview
- The Interview at the Embassy
- After your visa is approved
Step 1 - File the Petition. If you are a U.S. citizen legally residing in India and want to file an immigrant visa petition for an immediate relative, you can file a petition at the USCIS Office in New Delhi if you have been continuously, legally present in India for at least the 6 months prior to filing the petition. Individuals who are in the country on temporary status, such as a student or tourist do not meet this residency standard and must file an immigrant visa petition for an immediate relative in the United States. Please provide a valid email address and telephone number with STD code so we can contact you about your case.
Step 2 - Gather Required Documents for the Interview. Once the approved petition has been received at the immigrant visa unit from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), you will receive the "Instruction Package for Immigrant Visa Applicants" (or Packet 3), with a list of the documents the intending immigrant (your immediate reletive in India) must present at the immigrant visa interview.
- Please ensure that you complete Form DS-230, Part 1, and return it as soon as possible. You may return it via one of 11 offsite collection centers.
- You then need to notify us once you have obtained all the necessary documents as listed in your instruction package.
- You will need to have a medical exam. the fee for the medical exam is in addition to fees paid directly to the U.S. government. You pay this fee to the doctor directly.
- The IV unit at the Embassy will schedule the final visa interview. Applicants will receive an interview letter (or Packet 4).
Step 3 - The Interview at the Embassy.
- Appointments are necessary for immigrant visa interviews. The petitioner is not required to attend.
- Each applicant, regardless of age, must appear in person for his/her interview. At that time all documents will be evaluated and a decision will be made. There can be no guarantees in advance regarding the outcome of the interview, and applicants are advised not to make travel arrangements until after the visa is approved.
- Applicants may be found ineligible in accordance with immigrant visa law. For example, if you have a communicable disease, have committed criminal acts, or you are likely to become a public charge, you will be found ineligible. The two year foreign residency requirement for former exchage visitors (J visas) is also applicable. If you are found ineligible, the consular officer will advise you if the law provides for a waiver.
- If there is an observation in your passport, please inform staff at the time of your interview.
Step 4 - After your visa is approved. Once you have received your immigrant visa, you must enter the United States within 6 months of visa issuance to obtain an alient registration receipt or "green" card (Form I-151 or I-551) that will allow you to live and work in the United States.
- At the port of entry DHS officials will stamp your passport with an "A" number and make a notation that you are registered for an alien registration card.
- It normally takes several months for DHS to process and send the alient registration card to you. In the interim, the passport stamp, valid 1 year, permits employment and travel as you await your green card.
- You may depart and return to the U.S. before you receive the alien registration receipt card, as long as the DHS stamp in your passport has not expired. Should you wish to leave the U.S. and your stamp has expired (and you have not recieved your alien card), you should contact DHS in the U.S. before departure to obtain permission to return to the U.S.
- If, in the future, you plan to live outside the U.S. for more than 12 months, you must apply for a re-entry permit (form I-131) in the U.S. before departure. The maximum validity of this document is two years. If the relocation is permanent, you should formally abandon your permanent resident status. Without a re-entry permit, any absence from the U.S. of 12 months or longer, or any residence estatblished outside the U.S., is considered grounds for loss of permanent resident status.