Filing a US Immigrant Visa Application (DS-230)

The DS-230, also known as the Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration, must be filed by anyone seeking to emigrate to the United States. The form is in two parts and must be filed after you file paperwork for your particular visa category. For instance, if you plan on getting a family visa, your petitioner must file form I-130 (petition for alien relative) first. The initial petition filed is you getting your foot in the door – the DS-230 is your official marker of intent to immigrate as a resident of the United States.

Once you receive the I-797 Notice of Action, you will be eligible to file the DS-230 application, but you should begin filling it out and gathering necessary paperwork beforehand. You will also have to file a DS-3202 form, which explains who will be your Choice of Agent. This is almost always either your lawyer or a family member in the U.S. acting as your petitioner. Your petitioner may also have to file an I-784 Affidavit of Support before the DS-230 can be filed.

How to Fill Out Part I of the DS-230

You must fill in a variety of boxes for your DS-230 application. These include:

  • Name
  • Address in United States where you intend to live
  • Current and intended occupation
  • Current address
  • Names of family members
  • All cities and countries in which you’ve lived since you were 16 years of age
  • All jobs you’ve had for the past 10 years – if you need more space, you may attach additional papers
  • All educational institutions attended
  • Previous military service
  • Previous visits to the U.S. as well as visa status for those trips

You may also have to attach other documentation to your DS-230 application. Common documents include up-to-date (non-expired) birth and marriage certificates and passport-size photographs. All documents must be originals or certified copies. It is best to make certified copies so you can keep the originals.

How to Fill Out Part II of the DS-230

Part II of the immigrant visa application is a sworn statement made by the main applicant. While you only have to fill out a single Part I form, you must submit a Part II form for each dependent family member or child immigrating with you as well as for yourself. In this application, you swear that yourself and each person immigrating with you:

  • Is in line with U.S. health regulations including vaccinations and does not have a communicable disease or disorder that would pose a threat to others
  • Is not a drug user or addict
  • Has not committed drug trafficking crimes
  • Is not a spy, terrorist or affiliated with a totalitarian political party
  • Has passed all necessary certifications to perform an intended occupation in the U.S.
  • Has not attempted to fraudulently enter the United States
  • Is eligible for U.S. citizenship
  • Was not previously convicted of a felony in the U.S. or deported within a set span of time
  • Has not, does not plan to and is not likely to break any U.S. laws

You may need to file paperwork to prove some of these sworn statements such as medical records and criminal records. Consult with a lawyer in your home country specializing in immigration to the U.S. for specific information relevant to your application.

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