As part of its transition to paperless processing of immigrant
visa applications (IVPP), the US Department of State (US DOS)
announced worldwide implementation of electronic forms DS-260 and DS-261.
The DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application replaces the
paper-based DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien
Registration (parts I and II); while the DS-261 Choice of Address
and Agent will replace the DS-3032 Choice of Address and Agent.
The transition to the paperless forms became effective as of
September 1, 2013. Use of the DS-260/261 is mandatory for new
cases. That is, persons whose applications arrive at the
National Visa Center (NVC) from the Immigration Service (USCIS) on
or after September 1st must update their filings with
DOS has stated that it will not require those with cases already
in process or in the "pipeline" on as of September 1,
2013, to also complete the DS-260/261 if:
the case has been "documentarily qualified" and sent
for scheduling, or
NVC is able to documentarily qualify the case after receiving a
single set of supporting documents.
If NVC finds the need after September 1st to request
missing documents to complete a pending case, it will direct the
applicant to also submit a DS-260 even if a DS-230 is on
file. This of course will likely add time to case processing
until the transition period is complete.
A similar approach is being taken for immigrant visa cases that
are currently in process abroad. Separate instructions apply
to Cuban Family Reunification Parole cases.
The content of this article is intended to provide a general
guide to the subject matter. Specialist advice should be sought
about your specific circumstances.
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In our continuing series of reports, Charles ("Charlie") Oppenheim, Chief of the Visa Control and Reporting Division, U.S. Department of State, shares his most recent analysis of current trends and future projections for the various immigrant preference categories with AILA (the American Immigration Lawyers' Association).
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