Law Office of Timur Edib
Many of my clients ask about the status of their immigration case. The first thing about understanding how immigration works is to understand that there are many different agencies and bureaus of the government involved. Each agency has its own rules and expectations.
The main agency in the United States involved is known as the Department of Homeland Security, and under the jurisdiction of the Department there are multiple Bureaus. The most common is the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), charged with the primary work of adjudicating requests for naturalization as American citizens, processing adjustment of status to lawful permanent residents (Green Cards) from family and business petitions, and changing the status of foreigners in the country that are here on a temporary basis such as students and tourist.
The main agency outside the United States is the Department of State. As the Department in charge of the Consulates, they are the ones that interview foreign nationals that want to visit the United States. They issue Non-Immigrant Visas (NIV) and Immigrant Visas (IV). The State Department is also in charge of overseeing the visa quota allocations. Every month it posts the Visa Bulletin on their webpage www.travel.state.gov. The State Department is also in charge of the Diversity Visa (DV) Lottery which allows up to 50,000 families to emigrate to the United States every year. The DV Lottery is free, and opens every October for about two (2) months.
These two agencies are completely different in the way they treat foreign nationals. The main concern is that people outside the United States are not entitled to legal counsel. Lawyers have no power at the U.S. Consulate. So it is very important that people seeking a visa are properly prepared for their interview and understand how the Consular Officer will review the file.
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