Thursday, November 4, 2010

DS-230 explained

*Reference link to abbreviations/terms post*

Time to explain the DS-230! This form is the application for an immigration visa and filled out by the beneficiary (me!). It asks basic info about the beneficiary, their parents, locations lived, employment, education, etc.

This form is sent in at the NVC stage along with the I-864 that I explained last week. Before sending in the DS-230 though, the IV bill has to appear in the payment portal, then be paid, then appear as 'PAID'. Once that's done, then the DS-230 can be sent in.

The documents needed for this package are:
-cover letter explaining what is included
-receipt that you paid the bill and it was approved
-part 1 of the form (completed and signed)
-part 2 of the form (completed and UNSIGNED*)
-2 passport pictures of the beneficiary (with the beneficiary's name, date of birth, and NVC case number written on the back)
-copy of passport bio page of beneficiary
-original birth certificate, plus a photocopy**
-original marriage certificate, plus a photocopy**
-original police certificate***, plus a photocopy**

*Part 2 of the DS-230 is signed at the interview after the information is reviewed

**A photocopy of the birth certificate, marriage certificate, and police certificate is needed because the originals will be handed back at the interview and USCIS needs a photocopy for their records.

***The police certificate can either be obtained from the local police station, or in my case also the RCMP.

Back in August I went to my local police station for more information. It would cost me $60 to obtain, be valid for 6 months, and if no problems, would only take a day or two to get. Because it's only valid for 6 months, I'm probably going to get it in December. I'd like it to be valid for the interview as well since I don't want to pay another $60 for another one. I don't want to wait till our I-130 is approved in case it takes a bit longer to get the police certificate. But I guess I'd rather pay a second $60 than be delayed awhile at NVC. So watch out for a post in December about the police certificate (unless I change my mind).

I also saw a few people on VJ getting RFE's for prior visas. They've all been about J1 visas, but even though I had a different visa, I'm still going to include an explanation of my previous visa, just to be on the safe side. I had an L2 (child of an L1 visa holder) back in 2005. My mother had an L1 (intra-company transfer) when her work moved from Quebec to Florida. I moved back to Quebec 2 years later when I finished high school. I'm going to try to get from my mother a photocopy of our notices of approvals and I'm going to include a photocopy of my old passport with the stamp in it from July, 2005 when we went through the border with our visas.

Also, not to forget that the case number must be written on all pages in the package at the top right corner except for the bar-coded receipt page.

If Ben and I opt in for electronic processing, the process is a little different. The DS-230 requires 2 passport pictures, so a photocopy of 2 pictures with different named files should be attached in the email (as silly as it sounds). Also, a scan of the original civil documents. At the interview then the original DS-230 forms and documents are handed in (minus the original civil documents). I forgot to mention this in the I-864 post, but it would be the same thing. Scan all the documents and attach it in the emails and bring in all originals at the interview to hand in (forms, employment letter, pay stubs, etc)


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