Beginning on September 3, 2013 the Department of State (DOS) will transition to an online Immigrant Visa application instead of filing the paper forms. The Immigrant Visa application is the process by which a foreign national obtains his or her green card while outside the U.S. The immigrant visa applicant will submit Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) online along with Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent). These new online forms will replace the previous paper Form DS-230 and DS-3032. Only Diversity Visa and Cuban Family Reunification Parole Applicants will continue to use the paper forms.
In the past few years, Immigrant Visa applicants from Amman, Almaty, Baghdad, Ciudad Juarez, Damascus, Kabul, Lima, Mexico City, Montreal, and Sanaa have already been required to file their applications online. Now the DOS is requiring all Immigrant Visa applicants to apply online regardless of their foreign home country. This is the DOS’s next step in creating a more secure and efficient online application experience.
While the online Forms DS-260 is very similar to the paper Form DS-230 there are a few changes. Namely, the applicant’s residential history. Previously on the paper Form DS-230, the Immigrant Visa applicant only had to list the City, State/Province, Country, and dates of their residency since the age of 16. Now, the applicant must list the full address of every place they lived since reaching 16 years of age. The full address must include the street number, street address, City, State/Province, and zip/postal code.
After the implementation date, the National Visa Center may instruct applicants who recently filed paper Forms DS-230 and DS-3032 to refile using the online system. This may only occur in some instances, but recent applicants should be prepared to refile.
Berardi Immigration Law is experienced at submitting Form DS-260 applications online and knows how detail-orientated the forms actually are. If you or a family member are interested in the obtaining an Immigrant Visa, contact our Immigration Attorneys today.