Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase

The US Embassy in China is a place to do the direct consular filing embassy phase.

Understanding the Direct Consular Filing

Embassy Phase

US Spouse Visa Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase Summary

US Embassy direct consular filing embassy phaseCongratulations, you are now at the US Spouse Visa Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase.

Firstly, you were approved by USCIS and now made it to the DCF Embassy Phase. In fact, this is your final step before getting your spouse visa.

We want you to feel comfortable going through the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase. Therefore, we provide this page about the US Spouse Visa DCF Embassy Phase in order to give you the knowledge and understanding.

For most people, it is more relaxing if they understand before hand how things work.

For this purpose, this page outlines the steps and process of the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase. Also, this section outlines the process of the IR-2/CR-2 Visa DCF Embassy Phase for any unmarried children under the age of 21 of the spouse that are not a blood relative of the US citizen petitioner.

The IR-1 CR-1 Spouse Visa Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase process includes the following:

    1. Complete DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application On-Line
    2. Schedule US Embassy Interview Appointment
    3. Select Courier Delivery Option
    4. Register for Medical Exam
    5. Gather Supporting Documents
    6. Attend Medical Exam
    7. Attend US Embassy Interview
    8. Track embassy issue visa
    9. Track Visa Delivery
    10. Receive Visa
    11. Pay Immigrant Visa Fee
    12. Next Steps



Dont Buy Plane Tickets Yet

Remember, do not buy your plane tickets until you have your visa in hand. THere are many things that can happen to derail your timeframe. Therefore, you do not want to lose your tickets or pay expensive rebooking fees.

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Complete DS-260 Immigrant Visa Application On-Line

Complete DS-260 online is a step in the US Spouse Visa by DCF Philippines Embassy Phase.DS-260 Summary

Once you have your case number, the next step in the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to complete the On-line Immigrant Visa Application (DS-260) form.

This application is the Beneficiary’s visa application. For this reason, most of the information to fill in on the form is of the Beneficiary. However, there is a minor amount of information to fill in of the Petitioner.

See our blog post, “Online Immigrant Visa Application, Form DS-260, Prepare and Complete“, for more detailed information and an example of a DS-260.

The immigrant visa fee of $325 for a spouse visa in the Direct Consular Filing embassy phase is paid at the embassy interview. Also, the fee is due for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

Prepare Ahead of Time

Prepare ahead of time to complete this on-line application by gathering all the information you need to fill in. In order to be ready, get all this information ahead of time. Information for this application includes:

  • Personal information
  • Foreign passport information
  • Present & previous address information
  • Mailing & permanent address
  • Family information
    • Parent information
    • Spouse information
    • Previous spouse information
    • Children information
  • Previous travel including any U.S. travel
  • Present work, education and training
  • Previous work, education and training
  • Petitioner information
  • Security and background information
    • Medical and mental health
    • Criminal
    • Security
    • Immigration law violations
    • Miscellaneous
  • Social security information

Social Security Card Option

Regarding the social security information, the DS-260 asks if you want a social security card sent to you automatically. For this purpose, we recommend that you check “No” on this item. This is due to the fact that the social security card comes faster (2 weeks) if you just visit the local social security office when you get to the United States. However, by checking “Yes”, the social security card can take 6-8 weeks. See our blog post, “Obtain Your Social Security Card“, for more detailed information.

 

Print DS-260 Bar Code Page

When you are done with the DS-260 online, print the DS-260 confirmation page (the page with the bar code). Because the bar code DS-260 confirmation page is a requirement to bring to the embassy interview, make sure you print it out and save it.

Schedule US Embassy Interview Appointment

After completing the DS-260 on-line, it is time to schedule the beneficiary’s US Embassy interview appointment for a spouse visa. In addition, a separate US embassy appointment is required for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

For this purpose, go to the US Travel Docs website to learn how to make an embassy appointment.

Important Note: Print out your embassy interview confirmation page. Specifically, this is your ticket to get into the embassy on the day of your appointment. Therefore, you may not get in the embassy without it.

Select Courier Delivery Option

Courier ServiceThe next step in the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to select your courier delivery option.

In order to select your courier option, go to the US Travel Docs Website. Then, click on the “Select Document Delivery Address” link under the Immigrant Visas section for your country. Once there, click on the first link under the “More Actions” to register a delivery address for the first time, or to change an existing delivery address.

Also, you can change your courier delivery option anytime until your embassy interview. After your embassy interview, you cannot change your courier delivery option.

The US Embassy is unable to deliver your passport and visa if you fail to register a delivery address.

Register for Medical Exam

The next step in the US Spouse Visa Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase process is to register for the beneficiary’s US spouse visa medical exam. In addition, register for any IR-1 or CR-1 children of the beneficiary.

For this purpose, check the foreign embassy website to see the medical facility for your country. Then, go to their website and look up the cost and other information.

In addition, read embassy-specific instructions and get a list of approved doctors on NVC’s Medical Examination page.  Also, see our blog post “What to Expect at your K-1 or IR-1/CR-1 Visa Medical Exam” for more information on your K-1 Fiance Visa medical exam.

Gather Supporting Documents

Summary

The next step in the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to gather the supporting documentation that pertains your situation for submission at the embassy interview. For this purpose, look over the list. Provide the specific documentation only if that item pertains to you. However, if it does not pertain to you, then there is no requirement to provide it.

List of Supporting Document Requirements

Documents needed.Specifically, the supporting documentation requirements include the following:

  1. Affidavit of Support form. See the Affidavit of Support subsection for which form or forms to use for your particular situation.
  2. Financial Documentation. See the Financial Documentation subsection below for what financial documents to use for your particular situation.
  3. Proof of Domicile in the United States. See the Proof of Domicile subsection below for a list of domicile options.
  4. Adoption Documentation: If any immigrating children of the Beneficiary was adopted, submit all records Child’s of the adoption.
  5. Birth Certificates: Obtain and submit a copy of the birth certificate for the Beneficiary and any child immigrating.
  6. Court and Prison Records:If the Beneficiary and/or any child immigrating were convicted of a crime, obtain and submit a certified copy of each court and prison record, regardless of the fact that they may have been granted amnesty, a pardon, or other act of clemency.
  7. Marriage Certificates: Submit a copy of your marriage certificate. Also, bring the original with you to the interview.
  8. Marriage Termination Documentation: If the Beneficiary was previously married, obtain and submit a copy of the divorce, annulment or death certificate. (Note only for the Beneficiary.)
  9. Military Records: If the Beneficiary served in the military of any country, then obtain and submit a photocopy of his/her military record.
  10. Photocopy of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page: The Beneficiary and each child immigrating submits a photocopy of the biographic data page of their valid Filipino passport. Specifically, the biographic data page is the page of the passport with your photograph, name, date, and place of birth. Also, bring your actual Filipino passport with you.
  11. Police Certificates Submit for beneficiaries (spouse and Children) over 16 years of age police certifications. For the Philippines, apply for and get a NBI national police clearance. Bring a copy and the original. If the beneficiary has lived or worked abroad, get a police clearance from any country if needed. See our blog post on “Police Clearance Certificate US Visa” for more information.

Supporting Documents for IR-2 and CR-2 Children

For children under 16 years of age, typically all the supporting documents required is their birth certificate and foreign passport. However, if the child is adopted, then bring all of the adoption papers. The child does dot have to be adopted by the petitioner. Also, if there is contact or support from the biological father or mother, then a sign-off may be required.

For children over 16 years of age, a birth certificate, foreign passport, adoption papers (if applicable), other biological parent sign-off (if applicable), and a police clearance is required.

Translations to English

All documents not written in English must be translated into English. For example, this may happen if the beneficiary has worked overseas and the police clearance is in a different language.

For this purpose, submit both:

  • a copy of the original document, and
  • a certified, word-for-word translation.

The translation must include a statement signed by the translator stating that:

  • The translation is accurate, and
  • The translator is competent to translate.

For detailed information see the US Department of State’s website post on “Information about Translating Foreign Documents”.

Another great website post to read is Nolo’s post on “Translating Non-English Documents for Immigration Applications“.

Affidavit of Support

Summary

As the person completing the Affidavit of Support, you are the sponsor (or, as appropriate, a substitute sponsor or joint sponsor). By signing this form, you agree to financially support the beneficiary. In fact, the sponsor’s responsibility usually lasts until the family member or other individual either becomes a U.S. citizen, or can be credited with 40 quarters of work.

Also, a separate Affidavit of Support is required for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

There is no fee for the Affidavit of Support when filing by DCF.

Typical pay stub.

Minimum Income Requirement

As we previously mentioned, many time it is difficult for an expat living in the Philippines to meet the minimum income requirements.

See our previous blog post “Minimum Income Requirement K-1 Fiance(e) Visa and CR-1 Spousal Visa” to determine if you meet the minimum income as a sponsor. Otherwise, if you do not meet the minimum income, you may need a co-sponsor or show assets to meet the income requirements.

For the household number, count yourself, your beneficiary, and IR-2 or CR-2 children, any other dependents yu have. In addition, if you have a cosponsor, count the co-sponsor and any other dependents that he or she has.

Then, use the column for 125% of poverty to obtain the minimum income requirement.

Which Form to Use

See the Department of State’s AOS Guide for a guide on which form(s) to use depending on your situation.

Click here for a guide from NVC on filling out the Affidavit of Support forms.

Use form I-864EZ only if you specifically meet the minimum income on your own without having to use a co-sponsor. In addition, in order to use I-864EZ, you must only be sponsoring your spouse and not any other dependents like IR-2 or CR-2 children. Also, in order to use I-864EZ, the income you are using to qualify is based entirely on your salary or pension and is shown on one or more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2s or 1099s provided by your employers or former employers. For example, you cannot use I-864EZ if you are using a co-sponsor or assets.

Use form I-864W, exemption from Affidavit of Support, only if you meet any of the following conditions:

  • U.S. citizen and you are sponsoring a natural or adopted child, other than a stepchild, who is under 18 years old.
  • Self-petitioning widow(er).
  • Self-petitioning battered spouse or child.
  • Sponsoring a child who will become a U.S. citizen immediately upon entry under the Child Citizenship Act of 2000 (CCA).
  • The applicant you are sponsoring has earned or can be credited with at least 40 eligible quarters under the Social Security Act.

Use Form I-864 for any of the following situations:

  • You are not able to use I-864EZ or I-864W.
  • There is more than one person that you are petitioning and sponsoring.
  • You are using a co-sponsor to meet the minimum income.
  • The income to prove minimum income is not based entirely on your salary or pension. Also if the income is not shown on one or more Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Form W-2s or 1099s provided by your employers or former employers.
  • You are using assets to prove minimum income.

Above all, the petitioner must always provide either I864EZ, I-864W or I-864. That being the case, even if using a co-sponsor, the petitioner must submit I-864.

Co-Sponsor Requirements

A US passport is one of the Philippine Visa requirements to enter the Philippines.If you use a co-sponsor, your co-sponsor must specifically provide proof of their US citizenship or Legal Permanent Residence.

For this purpose, Proof of US Citizenship can include any one of the following:

  • U.S. birth certificate that meets the following requirements:
    • Issued by the city, county, or state of birth
    • Lists applicant’s full name, date of birth, and place of birth
    • Parent(s)’ full names
    • Signature of the city, county, or state registrar
    • Date filed with registrar’s office (must be within one year of birth)
    • Seal of issuing authority
  • Fully valid, undamaged U.S. passport (can be expired)
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad or Certification of Birth
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship

Proof of Legal Permanent Residence can include any one of the following:

  • Form I-551 “green card;” or
  • Foreign passport containing Form I-94 with I-551 stamp (if you entered the United States by land) or an electronic Form I-94 record (if you entered the United States by air or sea).  You can request an electronic Form I-94 record from USCIS online.

In addition, the co-sponsor must provide an Affidavit of Support form.

If the co-sponsor is in the same household, then the co-sponsor must provide Form I-864A. In addition, all other household members must also provide I-864A.

If the co-sponsor is not in the same household, then the co-sponsor provides Form I-864.

In a like manner to the petitioner, the co-sponsor must provide financial documents to show meeting the minimum income requirement.

Financial Documents

Refer to the Department of State’s webpage on “Obtain Financial Evidence” for more detail.

In summary, the financial documents requirements specifically depend on several factors of the sponsor or co-sponsor including:

  • Job based income with company or other entity
  • Self employment based income
  • Income based on pension or retirement
  • Using assets to meet minimum income

See below for the financial document requirements for each of these conditions. Separate copies are required for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

Income based on Job with Company or Other Entity

For those whose income is based on employment with a company or other entity, provide the following:

  • Last tax year’s copy of tax transcript or itemized tax return. Although not a requirement, it may be beneficial to provide the last three years of tax transcripts or itemized tax returns.
  • W2s for the last three tax years.
  • Pay stubs for the last three months.
  • A letter from your employer stating your employment status, when you started working, position, and annual salary. Also, make sure that the letter is on company letterhead and signed by a duly authorized person of the company.

Income Based on Self Employment

For those whose income is based on self employment, provide the following:

  • Last tax year’s copy of tax transcript or itemized tax return. Although not a requirement, it may be beneficial to provide the last three years of tax transcripts or itemized tax returns.

In addition, for those who are self-employed, obtain and submit a photocopy of one of the following:

  • Your business license.
  • A signed letter on business letterhead that was written within in the last three months.
  • A contract between you as an independent contractor and a company.

However, if you are currently self-employed in any of the following ways, you do not need to obtain submit evidence of income:

  • Babysitter, elderly caretaker, construction worker, handy person, housekeeper, landlord, musician, nanny, seamstress, tailor, artist, or writer.

Income Based on Retirement Income

For those who are unemployed or retired, obtain and submit a photocopy of last tax year’s copy of tax transcript or itemized tax return. Although not a requirement, it may be beneficial to provide the last three years of tax transcripts or itemized tax returns.

In addition, for those who are unemployed or retired, obtain and submit a photocopy of ongoing income from other means, such as:

  • retirement benefits (1099s or other documents);
  • other household members’ income; or
  • other significant assets.

Minimum Income based on Using Assets

Assets may be used to supplement income to meet the minimum income requirement. For example, funds in a bank account, equity in a home, equity in an automobile, or other approved assets may be used. However, the first car in a household may not be used.

If you submitted Form I-864 or I-864A and you used assets to meet the minimum income requirement, submit a photocopy of proof you own your or your cosponsor’s assets. Proof can take any form as long as it:

  • lists your name as the owner; and
  • Includes the value of the asset expressed in currency.

Assets of the Petitioner are specifically calculated at 1/3 value. In other word, you need three times the minimum income requirement when using assets of the Petitioner.

Assets of a co-sponsor are specifically calculated at 1/5 value. In other word, you need five times the minimum income requirement when using assets of a co-sponsor.

Proof of Domicile

On the Affidavit of Support, petitioners must prove that they have the ability to financially support the beneficiary(ies). However, the petitioner must also prove that his or her country of domicile is the United States.

As we mentioned before, it can be difficult for an expat living abroad to prove domicile.

A house is a form of prooving US Domicile in the US Spouse Visa DCF Philippines Embassy Phase.If you are living abroad, you must specifically provide proof that your trip abroad is temporary. In addition, provide proof that your country of domicile remains in the United States. Examples of proof include:

  • Your voting record in the United States;
  • Records of paying U.S. state or local taxes;
  • Having property in the United States;
  • Maintaining bank or investment accounts in the United States;
  • Having a permanent mailing address in the United States;
  • Obtaining a house or apartment;
  • Enrolling children in school;
  • Letter from a relative allowing you to live with them;
  • Other proof such as evidence that you are a student studying abroad or that a foreign government has authorized a temporary stay.

Some individuals employed abroad are automatically considered as domiciled in the United States because of the nature of their employment. The qualifying types of employment include employment by:

  • The U.S. Government (including the U.S. armed forces);
  • An American institution of research recognized by the Secretary of Homeland Security (see list of qualifying institutions);
  • A U.S. firm or corporation engaged in whole or in part in the development of foreign trade and commerce with the United States, or a subsidiary of such a firm or corporation;
  • A public international organization in which the United States participates by treaty or statute;
  • A religious denomination having a bona fide organization in the United States, if the employment abroad involves the person’s performance of priestly or ministerial functions on behalf of the denomination; or
  • A religious denomination or interdenominational missionary organization having a bona fide organization in the United States, if the person is engaged solely as a missionary.

Attend SLEC Medical Exam

A female Filipino doctor is part of the SLEC medical exam experience.The next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to attend your medical exam. Any IR-2 or CR-2 children also need to attend the exam.

 

Again, for this purpose, check the foreign embassy website to see the medical facility for your country. Then, go to their website and look up the cost and other information.

In addition, read embassy-specific instructions and get a list of approved doctors on NVC’s Medical Examination page.

Also, see our blog post “What to Expect at your K-1 or IR-1/CR-1 Visa Medical Exam” for more information on your K-1 Fiance Visa medical exam.

The medical exam is typically a two-day process.

Attend US Embassy Interview

The next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to attend US Embassy interview.

Make sure that you scheduled your embassy interview appointment. For that purpose, see above for that section.

Also, ensure that you finished your spouse visa medical before your interview.

Any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary also need to attend the embassy interview.

Ensure that the beneficiary brings you to the embassy interview the following:

  • US Embassy Interview Appointment Confirmation
  • DS-260 Car Coded Confirmation Page
  • Copies of everything sent to USCIS previously
  • Foreign Passport
  • Affidavit of Support
  • Financial documentation mentioned earlier that pertains to you
  • All supporting documentation mentioned earlier that pertains to you
  • Evidence of domicile in the USA.
  • A photo album of the petitioner and beneficiary’s photographs.

Show up to the interview about 45 minutes ahead of time and fall in line.

See our blog post “Spouse Visa Interview Questions at US Embassy Interview” for information about potential interview questions at the US Embassy Spouse Visa interview.

The immigrant visa fee of $325 for a spouse visa in the Direct Consular Filing embassy phase is paid at the embassy interview. Also, the fee is due for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

Check the embassy website to see how to pay the fee for a direct consular filing embassy phase fee.

Track Embassy Issue Visa

Instant tracking for track visa using USTravelDocs.The next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to track the embassy issuance of your visa.

By the way, congratulations on passing your IR-1 / CR-1 Spouse Visa embassy interview. As a result, you are almost at the end with visa in hand.

However, now that your embassy interview is over, there is yet another waiting period. Hopefully, this one is very short.

For this purpose, the embassy now undergoes necessary administrative processing. These administrative steps are final case and background checks. This is done to make sure everything is in order before the embassy makes a final decision and issues the actual visa.

For example, this final step may take as little as a week at some embassies. However, at others, it can take more than a  month.

Therefore, we give you the tools to track visa status after the embassy interview.

See our blog post, “Track Visa Status After US Embassy Interview”, for more detailed information on how to track the status of the embassy issuing your visa after the interview.

Track Visa and Passport Delivery

Track US Visa Philippines using ToGo.The next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing embassy phase is to track your visa and passport delivery.

There are specifically two ways to track the delivery of your visa package and passport including:

  • US Travel Docs Website
  • Courier Tracking System

See our blog post, “Track US Visa Using USTravelDocs Website Any Embassy“, for more detailed information on how to use US TravelDocs website to track your visa package.

See your embassy website for any information on tracking the visa using the courier website.

Receive Visa

US visa packetThe next step in the Direct Consular Filing embassy phase is to pick-up or receive your visa package. Pick up or receive the visa specifically by the courier method that you chose earlier.

Make sure that you have a valid identification to sign and receive the visa package. If the package is not picked up in a reasonable amount of time, then it is returned to the embassy.

Once you get your visa package, open the outer clear package and retrieve your passport and the sealed immigration package.

Very Important: Do not open the sealed manila immigration package.  This MUST remain sealed until you reach the U.S. Port of Entry where a U.S. Customs officer opens the package.

Now, book your tickets to the United States.

Book Airline Tickets

The next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to book your airline tickets.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Now that you have your visa in hand, go ahead and BUY your plane tickets to the USA.

Please consider buying your plane tickets from our site’s affiliates. We do get a small commission, but this is what helps us continue to provide free Do-It-Yourself information.

For this purpose, we recommend that you use the following sites to find your best deals on airfare:


Expedia.com



 

Pay Immigrant Visa Fee

Fees Paid StampThe next step in the US Spouse Visa process for Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase is to pay the Immigrant Visa Fee. The fee is due also for any IR-2 or CR-2 children of the beneficiary.

About the USCIS Immigrant Fee

If you are immigrating to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, you must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online unless you meet one of the exemptions.. We recommend that you to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee after you pick up your immigrant visa from the Department of State and before you depart for the United States.

The USCIS Immigrant Fee is $220. The fee is used to recover USCIS costs related to immigrant visas issued by the U.S. Department of State at U.S. Embassies and Consulates abroad. USCIS uses this fee to process your immigrant visa packet and produce your Permanent Resident Card (commonly known as a Green Card). The fee covers the cost of USCIS processing, filing and maintaining immigrant visa packets, plus the cost of producing Permanent Resident Cards.

For more information on the USCIS Immigrant Fee, go the USCIS website here.

How to Pay the Fee

Pay the fee by going to the USCIS Website File On-line. You need to have your A-Number and DOS Case ID, which can be found on your immigrant data summary, USCIS Immigrant Fee handout, or immigrant visa stamp.

If you cannot pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee, a family member, friend, employer, attorney or accredited representative can pay for you. If someone pays the fee for you, they will need your Alien Number (A-Number) and Department of State (DOS) Case ID.

What if you do not Pay the Fee

You may also pay the fee after you arrive in the United States. If you arrive in the United States and haven’t yet paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee, USCIS will send you a notice requesting payment with instructions on paying your fee. You will not receive your Green Card until you have paid the USCIS Immigrant Fee.

If you do not pay the fee within the time listed in the notice, you will not receive your Green Card.  Failure to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee will not affect your status as a lawful permanent resident, but you will only have evidence of your lawful permanent status for one year from the date of your admission, as evidenced by the temporary I-551 stamp placed in your passport by CBP at the time of your admission.

Exemptions

The following groups do not have to pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee:

  • Children who enter the United States under the orphan or Hague adoption programs;
  • Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants;
  • Returning lawful permanent residents (SB-1s); and
  • K non-immigrants

Next Steps

See our other Page and Blog articles for your next information:

Webpage

Now that you have your Visa, please see our next webpage sections for more information on your next steps after the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase including:

Blog Articles

Also, please see our blog articles for more detailed information on your next steps after the Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase including:

Disclaimer

While all attempts are made to present correct information on the US Spouse Visa Direct Consular Filing Embassy Phase, it may not be appropriate for your specific circumstances and information may become outdated. See our Disclaimer page for more information.

LoveVisaLife does not provide legal advice and nothing contained herein shall be construed as legal advice. We are only providing tips and an example of typical a NVC cover letter. The full contents of LoveVisaLife.com, such as text, comments, graphics, images, videos and other content contained on this site are for informational and educational purposes only. For this reason, if you need legal advice, you should contact an attorney. Accordingly, the content of this site is not intended to be a substitute for professional legal advice.