How to Complete and File Form DS-260 (formerly DS-230), U.S. Immigrant Visa Application

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In the United States, three government agencies are in charge of the oversight, admission and registration of foreigners: Homeland Security, the Department of State and the Citizenship and Immigration Services. For the most part, Homeland Security is in charge of enforcement, USCIS handles processing and the State Department manages admissions and initial registration.

The Department of State Form 260 is used for the purpose of registering an intention to immigrate, meaning that it is for applicants who intend to permanently reside in the U.S. This form usually follows the filing of USCIS forms such as the I-130, which is used for family-based immigration, or the I-526 for investors.

The DS-260 form should be completed and filed online upon receipt of a Notice of Action issued by USCIS officials; submission of supporting documents should be made at U.S. Consulate offices overseas, preferably based in the applicant’s country of origin. The first part of the form mostly calls for biographical information such as:

* Full name as it appears on the applicant’s passport; if it differs from the birth certificate, an explanation must be provided.

* Current address as well as future where the applicant intends to reside while in the U.S.

* Occupation.

* Family members.

* Chronological places of residence since the age of 16.

* Chronological job history dating back 10 years.

* Chronological education history.

* Military service.

* History of previous visits made to the U.S.

The second portion of this form asks the applicant to make a series of sworn affirmations related to health status, drug use, drug trafficking, terrorism, espionage, criminal activity, affiliation with extremist political groups, and fraud. Applicants must swear that their good moral character makes them eligible to one day become U.S. citizens. Dependents and children traveling with the applicants must also complete this section.

Once the DS-260 form has been completed, supporting documentation must be gathered for submission; some of these documents include birth certificates, vaccination records, marriage or divorce decrees, and diplomas. Certified copies are preferred because the Department of State does not guarantee the return of originals.

As of 25018, the DS-260 filing fee was $260. If an Affidavit of Support needs to be filed by an American citizen for the purpose of proving that the applicant will have financial solvency upon arrival, an additional fee of $88 must be paid. It should be noted that this form precludes the actual issuance of a visa, and it does not determine admissibility.