Frequently Asked Questions
Where can I find up-to-date information on immigration, types of visas, and the application process?
Both the State Department website, http://travel.state.gov/ and the U.S. Citizen and Immigration Service (USCIS) website, http://www.uscis.gov/, have comprehensive information on the immigration process. This includes downloadable forms.
I want to file an immigrant petition for my spouse and/or family members, where do I send the application?
- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul can accept petitions from U.S. citizens for immediate family members in certain cases. Please see the link regarding Filing an I-130 in Kabul at left. If you are an American citizen and have been living in Afghanistan legally for more than six months, you may file a petition in person at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul. If you are only in Afghanistan temporarily, you should submit your application by mail upon your return to the United States. A list of these offices is available at:
- Active duty military or other U.S. personnel stationed in Afghanistan who have a permanent residence in the United States may file by mail to their local USCIS office or in person in Kabul.
- If you are a legal permanent resident (LPR), you should file in the United States at the office nearest to where you live.
- The U.S. Embassy in Kabul cannot accept petitions for K-1 fiancé visas. The I-129F must be filed in the USA at the USCIS office closest to the applicant's residence.
What is the fee to file an immigrant visa petition? How is this fee paid?
- Whether you file in person or by mail, the proper fee must be paid at the time of petition. When filing in person, payment must be made in cash. Payment by mail can be made by money orders, personal checks, and cashiers checks. Payment by cash or travelers’ checks is not accepted.
How long does it take to process the application and receive a visa?
The time needed varies according to the category of petition. Immediate relative and fiancé petitions filed in Kabul usually take less than six months. Allow more time for petitions filed in the United States. Petitions filed in limited categories will have a wait time due to petitions filed earlier still waiting to be processed.
What documents need to be brought to an immigrant visa interview?
Once your application has been processed, your family member – and in some cases you as well – will be asked to come for an interview. The interview will take place at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul or at a regional office in the United States. Please be prepared to bring documentation to this interview proving:
- The U.S. citizenship or LPR status of the petitioner (e.g. passport, birth certificate, and/or naturalization certificate for U.S. citizens; or "green card" for LPRs);
- The relationship between the petitioner and the applicant (e.g. marriage certificate for spouse, birth certificate to show parent-child relationship, etc.);
- Ability to support family member financially, ( e.g. tax statements certified by the IRS, bank or investment statements, etc. ); and,
- The identification of the applicant (e.g., passport, national identity card, drivers license with photo, etc.).