October 8th, 2010 by Eleanor Gaskin
It is a well-known fact that every year, thousands of foreigners come to the United States, either for a visit or to live and work here. Immigrating to the US is very common occurrence and that is why the United States is called a Melting Pot. All are aware of the privileges of lawful status in the US. The procedure on how to enter the US depends on the reason for the US visit. Obtaining a visa or a green card are the most commonly used methods in order to be allowed to travel to the US. To get a visa or green card, you need to file specific forms either at the American Consulate or while in the US. There are immigrant and non-immigrant visas and you can get one or the other depending on the intention of your visit. Non-immigrant visas are for temporary visits to the U.S., such as for tourism, study, or temporary work. Immigrant visas allow foreign nationals to obtain Permanent Residence in the United States. Visitor visas, Work Visas, Student visas are few of the most common visas used to enter the US.
The USCIS (formerly the INS) is the authority and government agency that processes the immigration forms. They are authorized to approve or reject the form. What USCIS application form you use depends on your circumstances. All forms are available on the USCIS website. There are many independent services that aid applicants fill out and file USCIS forms online and they charge a fee for assisting users in filling and filing the USCIS application form. In certain complicated cases, the help of attorneys is sought to prepare the form.
The process of filling out forms is at times complicated. Every year, approximately 40 percent of the forms submitted to the USCIS are rejected because they were erroneously completed or were in fact incomplete. United States immigration laws are very strict in order to ensure that all immigrants enter and stay legally. Your application will be rejected if the immigration officials are even slightly suspicious of the evidence that you have provided. Therefore be truthful and transparent when filling out the USCIS application form. All the forms come with detailed filing instructions. And when submitting the completed form to the USCIS, make sure you include the supporting documents, the correct fee and mail it to the appropriate address.
After you submit the completed USCIS application form to the USCIS, you will receive a receipt. This notification will contain a 13-digit application receipt number that you can use to track the status of the submitted application. You will also be notified about the date for biometrics. The processing time for the immigration form differs from form to form, depending on the purpose of the form. At times, the process will be expedited for certain applicants considering the situation under which they are filing the form. The USCIS updates the immigration forms frequently. While mentioning updates, the expiry and revision dates of the forms are the ones that get updated. Certain US immigration forms can be e-filed. All supporting documentation can be submitted at the time of the interview if you decide to e-file.