DID YOU KNOW?: DERIVATIVE FAMILY MEMBERS CANNOT ENTER THE U.S. BEFORE PRINCIPAL APPLICANT AFTER IMMIGRANT VISA ISSUANCE
by Rabindra Singh
After issuance of an immigrant visa, a foreign national must arrive in and apply for admission to the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on visa. An immigrant visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless medical examination expires sooner, which may make visa valid for less than six months.
Foreign national must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) after receiving immigrant visa and before traveling to the United States. Only children who enter the United States under the Orphan or Hague adoption programs, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas are exempt from this fee.
Note that USCIS will not issue a Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551 or Green Card) until the foreign national has paid the fee.
Most importantly, when traveling to the United States, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before or at the same time as derivative family members with visas.
Keep in mind that a visa does not guarantee entry into the United States. The Department of Homeland Security, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officials have authority to grant or deny admission.
For more information on how to apply and obtain an immigrant visa, we encourage you to contact our office at email@example.com or call us at: (312) 291.1234.