U.S. Visa Standing: All the pieces You Must Know

What Is a U.S. Visa Standing?

A U.S. visa standing refers back to the state of an utility made for an immigrant or nonimmigrant visa that you may verify utilizing the database of the Consular Digital Software Heart (CEAC) Standing Test. Alternatively, you’ll be able to name the National Visa Center at 603-334-0700 to get updates in your visa utility standing.

To make use of the Standing Test, you have to enter your CEAC barcode and the interview location for nonimmigrant (NIV) circumstances and the case quantity for immigrant visa (IV) circumstances.

A nonimmigrant visa will get issued for folks searching for a brief keep in the US, akin to for enterprise, work, or instructional research functions. Immigrant visas, nonetheless, apply to those that search to dwell in the US completely. The U.S. Office of Consular Affairs website affords extra particulars about immigrant and nonimmigrant visa circumstances. Moreover, visitor visas (permitting folks to go to the US for leisure and journey, convention attendance, property settlements, contract negotiations, seeing pals or household for medical remedy, and so forth.) may be obtained.

Why Is a U.S. Visa Standing Essential?

When getting into the US as an immigrant or nonimmigrant, you have to submit an utility to acquire a visa, a doc granting permission to apply to enter the US. Observe {that a} visa is not a permission to enter the nation. A visa merely confirms {that a} U.S. consular officer has reviewed your visa utility at a U.S. embassy or consulate and has decided that you’re eligible to journey to a port of entry (akin to a global airport, seaport, or land border crossing) for a selected objective, akin to enterprise assembly, instructional research, and journey.

Candidates have to verify their U.S. visa standing in order that they are often conscious of the state of their visa utility. After you file your visa utility with USCIS (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Providers), you’ll obtain Kind I-797, Discover of Motion, that confirms receipt of your visa petition and provides you a case quantity. You utilize the case quantity, a novel 13-digit barcode, to verify your U.S. visa standing on-line. You may verify utility standing for visa extensions, visa petitions, and visa transfers by means of the net CEAC Standing Test.

Checking your visa utility standing will return one of many following statuses:

U.S. Visa Standing for NIV Candidates

In case you submitted your on-line utility for a nonimmigrant visa utility (DS-160), this standing signifies the visa system has not processed your utility. Relying on location, your utility might stay on this standing till your seem for an interview or till your utility is prepared for overview.

Your visa standing case is open and prepared for an interview, fingerprints, and required paperwork. In case you accomplished your interview (or in the event you weren’t required to offer an interview), you’ll be able to verify again in two enterprise days in your utility standing.

  • Administrative Processing

This standing signifies that your visa case is present process administrative processing, which might take a number of weeks. You’ll have to comply with any directions given to you by the Consular Officer on the time of your interview. You could be requested for added data or, in case your visa utility is permitted, your utility will probably be processed and mailed or given to you inside two enterprise days.

Your visa is within the last stage of processing. If in case you have not obtained your visa inside 10 working days from the time this standing reveals on-line, you will have to contact the consulate or embassy the place you submitted your utility.

Your visa utility case acquired refused for a motive aside from these listed in Administrative Processing.

U.S. Visa Standing for IV Candidates

Your case is prepared in your interview when scheduled at a U.S. Consular location. After getting scheduled an appointment for the interview, you have to put together any paperwork outlined in your appointment letter and seem on the consulate on the date and time instructed. In any other case, you’ll want to attend till you obtain discover of your interview appointment. You could find out extra details about how IV interview appointments are scheduled on the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website.

  • Administrative Processing

Your visa utility case is present process administrative processing, which might take a number of weeks. Comply with any directions {that a} Consular Officer provides you on the time of your interview. As soon as your visa utility will get permitted, it will likely be processed and mailed to you inside two enterprise days. Observe that some immigrant visas might not have the ability to be issued if the annual restrict for that class was reached.

Your visa is printed. Relying on the necessities on the location the place you bought interviewed, your visa will probably be mailed or will probably be obtainable on the location so that you can decide up.

You obtain this notification when your registration for a visa utility is canceled. Any petition obtained in your behalf can also be canceled. This standing additionally signifies that, after one yr, your utility could be reinstated in the event you might set up that your failure to get your immigrant visa utility was a results of circumstances past your management. If you wish to get an immigrant visa, a petitioner must contact the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (DHS) USCIS for submitting of a brand new immigrant visa petition.

In case you don’t apply in your immigrant visa inside one yr of receiving a request to take action, your visa utility registration and any petition permitted in your behalf will get canceled. You may reinstate your utility and validate your petition inside one yr so long as you show that the failure to get an immigrant visa utility was attributable to circumstances past your management.

Your visa utility case was returned to the Nationwide Visa Heart (NVC). You’ll have to contact the U.S. Division of State Bureau of Consular Affairs for added data.

Your immigrant visa case has been transferred to a different U.S. Consular workplace.

Your immigrant visa case is closed. Discuss with the letter you obtained at your interview for extra particulars.

Regularly Requested Questions

  • How lengthy is my visa legitimate?

The visa is legitimate till the expiration date said on the visa stamp.The Period of Keep Kind (I-94) states the period of keep granted by the U.S. Division of Homeland Safety. Observe that the allowed period of keep on the I-94 kind might differ from the visa’s expiration date.

  • What kind of data do I have to verify the standing of my visa?

You will want the 13-digit barcode of your utility. For nonimmigrant visas, additionally, you will be required to enter your interview location, and for immigrant purposes, the case quantity.

  • When can I gather my passport after submitting an utility for a visa at an embassy or consulate?

You’ll often get a notification by way of mail or e-mail when your passport is able to gather.

  • Can I alter my visa standing?

You may both apply for a change in your visa standing (for instance, altering from immigrant or nonimmigrant) at a U.S. consulate or embassy in your house nation, or you’ll be able to submit a standing change utility on-line. In case you are a nonimmigrant visa holder and wish to change your standing, you have to full an I-129 petition and submit it alongside together with your I-94 doc (arrival report) not less than 60 days earlier than your I-94 kind’s expiry date.

  • How a lot does it price to verify the standing of my visa?

Checking your utility by cellphone or the CEAC database is free.

  • The place can I discover some free utility varieties?

You may obtain a free DS-160 kind for nonimmigrant purposes from the Consular Electronic Application Center’s website. You will want your 13-digit receipt quantity as a reference, which may be discovered in your I-797 kind.

  • How do I do know if I’m eligible to vary my standing for a visa as soon as I’m in the US?

You may apply to vary your standing if:

  1. You had been legally admitted into the US;
  2. You didn’t commit any act that will make you ineligible for an immigration profit;
  3. You don’t have any concern in opposition to you that will require the USCIS to power you to depart from the US earlier than re-entering pursuant to a unique classification;
  4. You submit an utility for change of standing earlier than the expiration date on Kind I-94, Arrival-Departure Document. You will need to ensure that your passport stays legitimate for the complete requested time of keep within the nonimmigrant classification in the US.
  • How do I do know if I’m not eligible to vary my standing as soon as I’m in the US?

In case you obtained admission to the US underneath the next nonimmigrant classes, you received’t have the ability to cost your nonimmigrant standing:

  1. C (Aliens in Transit)
  2. D (Crewmen)
  3. K1 (Fiancee) or K2 (Dependent of Finacee)
  4. S (Witness or Informant)
  5. TWOV (Transit With out Visa)
  6. WT or W8 (underneath the U.S. Visa Waiver Program, you’ll have been issued a inexperienced Kind I-94W, Nonimmigrant Visa Waiver Arrival-Departure Document
  7. J1 (Change Customer who should adhere to the two-year international residence requirement)
  8. M1 (Vocational Scholar altering to F1 or H, offered that the M coaching helped the person qualify for the H classification)
  9. Q2 (Irish Peace Course of Cultural and Coaching Program Participant, which is topic to a two-year international residency requirement)

In case you belong to any one among these above classes, you have to go away the US on or earlier than the date that your Kind I-94 expires.

  • How do I alter my nonimmigrant standing?

The steps to take rely on which standing you wish to change. Every of the classes beneath has particular limits and necessities, which embody size of keep in the US. In case your potential employer recordsdata an I-129 petition to vary your standing, and your husband or spouse or single youngsters underneath age 21 additionally wish to change their standing to stay as your dependent youngsters, they’ll have to file an I-539 utility to increase and alter their nonimmigrant standing. All youngsters may be included on the identical I-539, and it’s finest to file each I-129 and I-539 varieties collectively. Since these varieties require separate purposes, you’ll have to comply with the directions and file all of the supporting paperwork with every utility, even in the event you file varieties collectively.

  1. Employment-based Classes : If you wish to change your standing to one of many following employment-based nonimmigrant classes, your potential employer must file an I-129 petition for nonimmigrant employee for you earlier than Kind I-94 expires. The I-129 petition each makes clear that you’ll carry out the kind of work coated by the brand new nonimmigrant classification for the petitioner and that you just personally meet the necessities for altering your standing. Till the USCIS approves the standing change, you’ll be able to’t start work within the new classification.The classes are: E1 (Treaty Dealer) or E2 (Treaty Investor); H-1B, H-2A, H-2B, or H-3 (Non permanent Employees); L-1A or L-1B (Intracompany Transferee); O1 or O2 (Aliens with Extraordinary Capacity); P1, P2, or P3 (Athletes and Entertainers); Q1 (Worldwide Cultural Change); R1 (Spiritual Employees); TN (NAFTA Canadians and Mexicans)
  2. Different Classes: If you wish to change your standing to one of many following nonimmigrant classes, you have to file Kind I-539: A (Diplmoatic and Different Authorities Officers, Fast Household Members, and Workers), B1 and B2 (Guests for Enterprise of Pleasure), E (Treaty Merchants and Investor Dependents), F (Educational College students and Dependents), G (Overseas Authorities Officers and Sure Fast Household Members), H4 (Non permanent Employee Dependents), K3 Partner of U.S. Citizen and K4 Minor Youngster Accompanying or Following to Be part of), L2 (Intracompany Trasferee Dependents), M (Vocational and Language College students and Dependents), N (Mother and father and Kids of Sure Folks Who Have Been Granted Particular Immigrant Standing), NATO (NATO Representatives, Officers, Workers, and Fast Household Members), O3 (Aliens With Extraordinary Capacity Dependents), P4 (Athletes and Entertainer Dependents), R2 (Spiritual Employee Dependents), and TD (TN Dependents).
  • How a lot is the price to file Kind I-539?

The price to file Kind I-539 is $290 (as of 2015), however the USCIS requires extra charges for some candidates (usually in circumstances the place you have to submit extra varieties). Additionally, some candidates don’t should pay a price, and a few can request charges to be waived. In case you rent an immigration lawyer to deal with your utility, you’ll be able to anticipate to pay $500 and up for what’s referred to as a fixed-fee service.

  • What else ought to I learn about Kind I-539?

You should use essentially the most up-to-date model of Form I-539. In case you use the inaccurate model, the USCIS will reject your utility, which might have an effect on your standing and talent to remain in the US. Since price quantities and kind variations change once in a while, you’ll want to go to the USCIS web site, uscis.gov, to substantiate charges and varieties.

Whereas most candidates will use Kind I-539, you’ll nonetheless want to substantiate the precise submitting price relying in your state of affairs and make sure whether or not you’ll want to make use of completely different or extra USCIS varieties. Individuals who request diplomatic visas (akin to A-1, A2, G-1 by means of G-4, and NATO) don’t have to pay the $290 price, however they should embody Kind I-566 (Interagency Document of Request — A, G or NATO Dependent Employment Authorization or Change and Adjustment to and from A, G, or NATO Standing) with their utility.

Individuals who apply for V visas should pay the biometric price ($85 as of 2015) plus the fundamental I-539 price. Complement A to Kind I-539 additionally contains extra directions in regards to the V visa utility.

When paying charges, you have to record the price appropriately in your verify or cash order. If these quantities are usually not utterly right, your utility will probably be rejected, impacting your means to remain in the US. Whenever you file a number of purposes, you’ll be able to embody all charges in a single verify cost, but it surely’s finest to make use of separate verify funds. If yet another purposes get rejected, all will get rejected if the charges are included in a single verify. USCIS received’t settle for overpayments or partial refunds.

You should pay the charges utilizing a verify or cash order you get from a financial institution or different monetary establishment in the US. It have to be paid in U.S. forex. Make the verify payable to U.S. Division of Homeland Safety (don’t abbreviate).

The USCIS will mean you can file Kind I-539 on-line for some visa classifications. Whenever you e-file this manner, you’ll be able to pay utilizing a bank card, debit card, or digital switch of funds from a U.S. financial institution checking or financial savings account.

  • When can utility charges be waived?

Whenever you apply for sure advantages, the USCIS will permit candidates to request a price waiver. Anybody who should pay the biometric price ($85 as of 2015) can ask for a waiver, and dependents of the E-2 CNMI Investor Visa are additionally eligible to request a waiver of the Kind I-539 submitting price.

  • What about lawyer’s charges?

If in case you have a easy case, perceive visa legislation, and may simply qualify to increase or change your visa standing, you could not want a lawyer’s help. However in the event you don’t know any a part of the foundations, have particular circumstances, or have to be sure you appropriately execute your utility, you need to request a lawyer’s help. Because of the complicated nature of USCIS purposes, an lawyer may also help you keep away from surprising issues.

In case you rent an lawyer that can assist you, charges will probably be flat charges, moderately than hourly. Anticipate prices between $500 and $1,500 in your extension or change of standing request. The lawyer’s charges will probably be separate from the Kind I-539 submitting charges, which you’ll be liable for paying. Your lawyer will ask you to carry the verify or cash order cost with you to submit with the applying.

Steps to Test Visa Standing

  • Go to the CEAC website.
  • Enter your 13-digit barcode from the applying.
  • Enter both the interview location (nonimmigrant visa) or case quantity (immigrant visa).
  • Affirm the standing (see part above for explanations of the standing for IV and NIV varieties).

Frequent Errors

  • Submitting a change request on an expired visa is more likely to be rejected. You should apply for extensions and amendments of visa kind earlier than the visa’s expiration date. If in case you have questions, you need to seek the advice of an immigration services attorney.
  • You aren’t allowed to enter the US with out having the visa utility permitted. Due to this fact, don’t make journey plans till you get an estimated time of approval from the CEAC.
  • Not getting the most recent model of Kind I-539 (Software to Lengthen and Change Nonimmigrant Standing) and paying the right visa utility price will end result within the computerized decline of all visa extension or change purposes. You may obtain the up to date kind from the USCIS website.
  • Submitting the inaccurate kind of visa utility can price cash and trigger pointless delays.

Different Essential Issues

In case you keep in the US previous the date permitted in your Kind I-94, you threat being deported, or eliminated, from the US at any time. Whereas some folks select to increase their keep, this resolution might impression their probabilities to regulate their visa standing.

In case you are eligible for a U.S. Inexperienced Card (for instance, you’re intently associated to a U.S. citizen or everlasting resident or you’ve an employer petitioning for you), you’re . Nonetheless, not everybody who’s eligible for a Inexperienced Card isn’t eligible to regulate their standing. Many, however not all, folks might want to return to their dwelling nation as a part of the Green Card application course of, a course of that features an interview with a U.S. authorities official.

In case you keep in the US unlawfully for greater than six months, or 180 days, whenever you get to your visa interview abroad, officers will penalize you in your overstay by refusing to permit you again into the US for 3 years. In case you overstayed for a yr or extra, the penalty will probably be 10 years. You could be apply to use for a “waiver,” a authorized forgiveness, based mostly on hardship to your U.S. citizen or everlasting resident family, however these kinds of waivers are troublesome to get.

Individuals who modify their standing (they course of their complete Inexperienced Card utility with out leaving the US) don’t face these points.

  • Can anybody modify standing after a visa overstay or a visa expiration?

Just a few folks can, together with those that entered the US after inspection by a border or different immigration official and are making use of as rapid family of a U.S. citizen or had a visa petition or labor certification filed for them underneath a former legislation referred to as 245(i). With out skilled authorized assist, you shouldn’t attempt to guess your individual eligibility standing.

In case you overstay your visa, then go away the US, your previous report may be examined in the event you apply for future visas, and you could be denied a visa based mostly in your historical past. In case you suppose you’re eligible for a Inexperienced Card, however you’re getting near the expiration date in your permitted visa keep or have overstayed, you’ll have to ask for assist from an lawyer. An lawyer also can let you know whether or not you qualify for a waive that permits you to obtained a Inexperienced Card by means of processing abroad, or “consular processing.”

  • Can I renew my visa standing?

In case your visa standing will probably expire earlier than you’ll be able to apply in your standing readjustment, you need to contact an lawyer instantly, earlier than the visa overstay takes place. In some circumstances, you could not have the ability to legally keep in the US.

  • What occurs if I already utilized to regulate my visa standing?

In case you already submitted Kind I-485 and supporting varieties and paperwork to the USCIS, and also you’ve obtained acknowledgment that your varieties have been obtained an accepted for processing, you don’t want to fret about renewing your visa. Your standing in the US is authorized when you look ahead to the interview. At that interview, you’ll obtain notification about your standing adjustment request.

In case you need assistance checking your visa utility or when you have questions on your U.S. visa standing, you’ll be able to post your legal need or concern on UpCounsel’s market. UpCounsel accepts solely the highest 5 % of attorneys to its web site. Legal professionals on UpCounsel come from legislation faculties akin to Harvard Legislation and Yale Legislation and common 14 years of authorized expertise, together with work with or on behalf of corporations like Google, Menlo Ventures, and Airbnb.


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