When you apply for a USA visa, no matter what kind of visa you apply for, your immigration process will go through several steps:
- Acceptance. During this process, the USCIS will receive your application for an immigration visa or US visa, and will acknowledge the receipt of your application, usually by mailing you a letter. Just because your immigration visa application has been received, however, this does not mean that your application itself has been accepted. In order for your US visa application to be accepted in the first place, it must arrive at the correct location for your specific immigration form.
- Initial review. Once your application for a US visa reaches the correct destination, the USCIS will review your application for any initial problems. For example, your immigration visa may require a security check or background check, to determine whether there are any security reasons why your visa application should be rejected.
- Request for Evidence (RFE). At any point during the USA visa process, you may receive a request for more information. This usually occurs because immigration authorities need more evidence or more information before making a decision in your case. It is important to always reply promptly with all the information that the USCIS requests. You will usually be given a deadline with any RFE requests. It is very important that your supporting documents arrive with the USCIS by this deadline.
- Testing and Interview. In many types of US visa applications, petitioners must submit to an interview with consular or immigration officials. For example, if you are applying for a US visa abroad, through consular processing, you will generally be requested to submit to an interview, especially if you’re applying for an immigration visa through marriage. You will receive a letter informing you of your interview or test will take place. This letter will also outline the documents you need to bring to your appointment.
- Decision. Once you have submitted to any required interviews, have submitted your application and any supporting documents, and immigration authorities have had a chance to review your request for a USA visa, immigration authorities will usually issue a decision in your case and will let you know through mail whether your immigration petition has been rejected or approved.
Once a decision has been reached in your case, you may wish to submit an appeal or otherwise follow up if you feel that a rejection in your US visa case has been made in error. If your USA visa application has been accepted, there is also an additional process for securing the paperwork and documentation you need to prove your status.