Immigration Law Video Library

  • What is the time frame for Consular Processing?

    • You will make an appointment with the consulate ahead of time, and go in that day for your visa. They will probably tell you that day whether or not you have been approved for your nonimmigrant visa. If you are approved, it will take about a week to process the visa.
    • If you are put into administrative processing, they want to check on either some type of security clearance and verify that the application is correct. The process can take up to three months.
    • If you are going back for an immigrant visa and you are going to process it at the consulate, it should also take a short period of time.
    • Each consulate has their own rules, and it is important to go over those rules with your immigration lawyer to make sure that you are ready for your visa interview.
  • What are the documents needed for a Consular Process?

    • You will need a valid passport with updated passport photos.
    • If you are applying for a visa based on your marriage, it is a good idea to bring updated evidence that the marriage is still ongoing, that it is a valid marriage, and if you have joint documents or have visited each other over the past year.
    • They are also going to want to see your original documents: your marriage certificate, any divorce decrees, and your birth certificate.
    • If you are going to the Consulate for an immigrant visa, such as applying for your H1B visa or a student visa, you want to bring documents in support of that application and be ready to answer questions about its content.
    • If you are applying for a student visa, you are going to want to show evidence that you have the financial ability to take care of yourself while you are in the United States.
  • What happens during a consular process interview?

    • The Consulate officers will go over both your documentation and the application to make sure you actually qualify for the visa.
  • Does my US citizen spouse need to attend my Visa process interview with me?

    • Each consulate has their own set of rules and space to accommodate people.
    • Look at the website to see if they permit spouses to attend the interview.
  • What is a 3 -10 year Bar?

    •  If you are in the United States illegally for more than 180 days and then leave the United States, you cannot return for 3 years.
    •  If you are in the United States illegally for more than a year and then leave the United States, you cannot come back for 10 years.
    •  The 3-year bar does not apply to somebody in removal proceedings.
    •  The 3- & 10- year bars do not apply to anyone who has been admitted in duration of status, most commonly students.
  • What should I do if my spouse entered the US illegally and I am a US citizen?

    • If your spouse entered the United States illegally, there is no way for them to adjust their status in this country.
    • They would apply for a waiver here in the United States before they left, hopefully have it approved, and then apply for their visa at the U.S. Consulate abroad.
  • Can I wait out the 3-year Bar and then reapply for tourist visa?

    •  You can wait outside the United States for three years and apply for a tourist visa when you want to come back.
    • The consulate office must agree to give you a visitor’s visa.
    • Demonstrate to the consulate office that you have every intention of going back home after your visit in order to convince the officer that you will not violate your status again.
  • Can I file a waiver of the 3-year Bar?

    •  If you are subject to the 3-year and 10-year bar, you are going to need to apply for a waiver.
    •  You must have a qualifying relative that can demonstrate extreme hardship.
    •  A qualifying relative for the waiver is a United States citizen or Green Card holder, spouse or parent.
    •  There is no provision in the law that allows you to demonstrate hardship to children.
  • What is a N400 application?

    •  Form N400 is the application to file for citizenship or naturalization.
    •  Form N400 requires all your biographical information: your evidence of work history, employment history, residence in the United States, and your trips outside of the country over the last five years.
  • What are the requirements to file for citizenship and when can I apply?

    •  You must have a Green Card for three years if you are married to a United States citizen or five years if you are not married to a United States citizen.
    • You have to be over 18 years old, demonstrate both physical and continuous presence in the United States, and demonstrate that you are a person of good moral character.
  • Can I have Dual citizenship?

    •  The United States does not recognize dual citizenship, but you can keep both citizenships.
    •  You are not renouncing your citizenship to another country when you apply for U.S. citizenship.
    •  The United States will not recognize your citizenship from a different country.
  • Can I take the naturalization exam in my own language?

    •  It depends on your age and for how long you have had the Green Card.
    •  If you are 55 years old and you have had your Green Card for 15 years, you can take the exam in your native language.
    • If you are 50 years old and have had the Green Card for 20 years, you can take the exam in your native language.
    • For all other people, you are going to have to demonstrate that you can speak, read, and write in English.