How Can I Prepare for an Immigrant Visa Interview?

It may take anywhere from a couple of months to a couple of years to obtain a United States immigrant visa, depending on the specific type you seek. This is because there are many steps between your initial application and your final approval. Namely, a critical step that you must participate in is being interviewed by an official from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Continue reading to learn how to prepare before your immigrant visa interview and how an experienced family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can serve as your mentor.

How can I prepare before my immigrant visa interview?

Early on in your immigrant visa application process, the National Visa Center (NVC) may contact you regarding the scheduled date and time of your interview. You must not simply wait around until this day is upon you. Rather, the following initiatives must be taken before your interview:

  • You must schedule and attend a medical examination; specifically with an authorized, embassy-approved physician in the country where your interview is set to take place.
  • You must register for courier service; this is so that you may be instructed on additional requirements that your specific United States embassy or consulate asks of you.
  • You must gather documents that are required to be submitted at the time of your interview; examples include photos and originals or certified copies of civil documents.
  • You must retain an interpreter who can assist you at the time of your interview; along with jointly submitting Form G-1256, Declaration for Interpreted USCIS Interview.

Ultimately, a failure to make the preparations mentioned above may result in significant delays in your immigrant visa application process.

What can I expect to happen during my interview?

Understandably so, you may be overwhelmed with the gravity of your immigrant visa interview. Though it may help you rest easier to know what you can expect to go down. Such procedures are as follows:

  • You may expect ink-free, digital fingerprint scans to be taken at the start of your interview.
  • You may expect your spouse and any qualified unmarried children who plan to immigrate with you to also participate in your interview.
  • You may expect to answer questions about your history during your interview, such as where you have lived, traveled, and worked in the past five years.
  • You may expect to have original documents returned to you at the end of your interview, but certified copies are to be kept.
  • You may expect to be asked to pay any remaining, necessary immigrant visa application fees at the end of your interview.

The best way to prepare for your immigrant visa interview is to retain the services of a skilled Milwaukee, WI family immigration lawyer. So please contact Sesini Law Group, S.C. today.

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What Does Public Charge Mean?

The Department of Homeland Security will decipher whether or not you will be a public charge during your stay in the United States before giving a final say on your admissibility. Simply put, it will likely help your application for citizenship or permanent residency if you are not branded with this label. Follow along to find out how immigration law defines being a public charge and how a proficient green card lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you overcome this ground of inadmissibility.

What does public charge mean in immigration law?

First things first, being a public charge is typically defined as being an individual who is likely to become largely dependent on the federal government, as demonstrated by the use of cash assistance programs, government-funded institutionalized long-term care, etc. More specifically, such programs that qualify for a public charge determination read as follows:

  • Social Security Insurance (SSI).
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF).
  • State or local cash assistance programs.
  • Medicaid coverage for long-term institutionalization programs.

Further, the Department of Homeland Security will consider your age, family status, health, education, income, assets, etc. as heavily weighted factors in determining whether or not you are a public charge. If it labels you as a public charge after reviewing these factors, then you may be deemed inadmissible to enter the United States. This is because it is unfortunately true that immigrants who are proven to be self-sufficient may be prioritized for the limited green cards that are administered each year.

However, you may rest assured knowing that you cannot be labeled as a public charge if you are of asylee, refugee, special immigrant juvenile, Afghan or Iraqi translator or interpreter, or Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petitioner status. What’s more, the government-funded benefits you receive from a family member may not qualify as being considered a public charge. Other government-funded benefits that do not count include disaster relief benefits, unemployment insurance benefits, tax credits, stimulus checks, etc.

What can I do to overcome this ground of inadmissibility?

For one, if you are specifically applying for a family-based adjustment of status, then Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, may help you overcome being labeled a public charge. This is because the family member who fills out Form I-864 on your behalf will essentially declare that they will act as your financial sponsor during your stay in the United States. What may help even further is if your family member seeks a joint sponsor for this petition.

If done with careful consideration, there are many benefits to filling out this form. So please seek the assistance of a talented Milwaukee, WI family immigration lawyer from Sesini Law Group, S.C. We look forward to having a conversation with you.

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What Is An Affidavit of Support in Immigration Cases?

Understandably so, you may be earnest to bring your relative to the United States to share a life with you. However, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) may require you to first prove a lot. For one, you may have to prove that you have the financial backing to support your relative by completing an Affidavit of Support. Read on to discover more about an Affidavit of Support and how a seasoned family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can guide you through the steps of filling out this form.

What should I know about an Affidavit of Support for my immigration case?

Namely, Form I-184, Affidavit of Support, is a USCIS document you must fill out and sign to prove your willingness to be a “sponsor.” That is, you must agree to be held financially responsible for your relative applying to legally reside in the United States. With this, you must gather and submit evidence of your finances and other supporting documents. This may include proof of income, proof of assets, IRS tax transcripts, SSA earnings statements, and more. If the USCIS determines you have insufficient funds, you may still have a “joint sponsor” cosign the form.

Of note, an Affidavit of Support is legally binding until your relative reaches full citizenship status in the United States. Or, it may last until your relative is credited with at least 40 qualifying quarters of work (i.e., approximately 10 years), as per the Social Security Act.

What do I need to do before and after filling out this form?

You must understand that an Affidavit of Support is not the only form that you must fill out to have your relative legally enter the country. That is, there are other documents and otherwise initiatives that you must take before and after, and they read as follows:

  • Before filling out this form:
    • You must fill out and submit Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative.
    • Both you and your relative must manage your case with the Department of State’s National Visa Center.
    • Both you and your relative must pay the $535 filing fee.
    • Your relative must schedule an immigrant visa interview.
  • After filling out this form:
    • Your relative must fill out and submit Form DS-260, Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration.
    • Both you and your relative must collect, scan, and submit the civil documents required to support this application.
    • Your relative must schedule a medical appointment with an authorized physician in the country of your scheduled interview.
    • Your relative must attend their scheduled immigrant visa interview with the required civil documents.

Undoubtedly, there is much to consider with filing an Affidavit of Support. So your next order of business should be to initiate a conversation with a competent Milwaukee, WI family immigration lawyer. Someone at Sesini Law Group, S.C. is awaiting your phone call.

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Can I Sponsor My Sibling for Immigration?

You may not want to experience life in the United States alone but rather in the company of your loved ones. This may go beyond your spouse and children and extend to your siblings. Follow along to find out how to sponsor your sibling and how a proficient family immigration lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can walk you through every step.

Under what circumstances can I petition for my sibling’s immigration?

Simply put, you may petition for your sibling’s immigration to the United States so long as you are a citizen of 21 years of age or older. Namely, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services recognizes your sibling as a preference relative. Meaning that they are considered a non-immediate relative who is thereby subject to the USCIS’s annual “cap” on admittances into the United States. As of 2023, this annual cap was set at 226,000 preference relatives.

What’s more, your sibling may fall under the family preference category four, which is the lowest category set by the USCIS. Unfortunately, this may indicate that your sibling must wait exceptionally long for their chance to enter the country. On average, this wait time may be 14 years; but it may ultimately depend on your sibling’s national origin/country of residence.

If you are interested in sponsoring other relatives, as well, the other family preference categories that you must be made aware of read as follows:

  • Family preference category one: your unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years of age or older.
  • Family preference category two: your spouse, minor children, and unmarried sons and daughters who are 21 years of age or older; if you are of permanent resident status.
  • Family preference category three: your married sons and daughters who are 21 years of age or older.

How can I sponsor my sibling for immigration to the United States?

Given the extended wait times that are in store for your sibling, it is recommended that you file Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, on their behalf at your earliest possible convenience. Importantly, you must supplement this form with the following pieces of proof:

  • Proof of your United States citizenship:
    • A copy of your birth certificate.
    • A copy of your United States passport.
    • A copy of your certificate of naturalization or citizenship.
  • Proof of your sibling relationship:
    • A copy of your sibling’s birth certificate that lists your common parents.
    • For an adopted sibling: a copy of their adoption certificate.
    • For a step-sibling: a copy of your parent and step-parent’s marriage certificate from before you and your sibling were 18 years of age or older.

This is not to mention the $535 filing fee that must be paid. In the end, even if you are just considering sponsoring your sibling, it is best to first consult with a talented Milwaukee, WI family immigration lawyer. So please contact us at Sesini Law Group, S.C. today.

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What Is a Conditional Green Card for a Spouse?

Your spouse may not be a citizen or legal resident of the United States. But just with the simple fact that you are a United States citizen, your spouse may be eligible to legally enter and reside in the United States. One way they may achieve this is by obtaining a conditional green card. Read on to discover the terms for a conditional green card and how a seasoned green card lawyer in Milwaukee, WI, at Sesini Law Group, S.C., can help you plan out your next steps.

What are the terms for a conditional green card for my spouse?

Simply put, your spouse obtaining a conditional green card means that they obtain the ability to legally live and work in the United States; similar to the rights of any other green card holder. However, it is worth mentioning that your spouse’s conditional green card is only set to last for two years. Contrastingly, most other green cards may be valid for up to 10 years with an option for renewal.

Essentially, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) offers the conditional green card option to evaluate the validity of your marriage within its first two years. This is set to combat marriage fraud, an act that, unfortunately, commonly arises amongst those attempting to acquire United States citizenship or legal residency.

What should I do when my spouse’s green card is set to expire?

You must understand that your spouse’s conditional green card cannot be renewed. This means that, after two years, your spouse may have to exit the United States if they do not take the proper measures toward adjusting their status. Namely, they may apply for a permanent green card by filing Form I-751, Petition to Remove Conditions. And since the conditions for their stay are based on your marriage, Form I-751 is a joint petition that you must complete together. Without further ado, you and your spouse must take the following steps:

  1. You and your spouse must provide your signatures wherever it is requested throughout the form.
  2. You and your spouse must supplement the form with additional evidence of your marriage (accumulated in the time since the original green card application).
  3. You and your spouse must supplement the form with a front-and-back copy of the conditional green card.
  4. You and your spouse must include payment for the $595 filing fee and $85 biometrics fee with the form.
  5. You and your spouse must submit the form within the allotted 90-day window (filing too early will cause the form to be sent back and filing too late will cause the form to be denied).
  6. You and your spouse must schedule an interview with a USCIS officer if it is requested after your submission of the form.

You must consult with a competent Milwaukee, WI green card lawyer far before the date on which your spouse’s green card is set to expire. So please contact us at Sesini Law Group, S.C. today.

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Read Our Latest Blog Posts

  •  How Can I Prepare for an Immigrant Visa Interview?
  •  What Does Public Charge Mean?
  •  What Is An Affidavit of Support in Immigration Cases?
  •  Can I Sponsor My Sibling for Immigration?