Congratulations your I601 Waiver is Approved! Now what?
Getting your I601 waiver approved is most the difficult part of the process. But that is not the last step necessary to obtain permanent residency or to enter the U.S. What comes next is a series of procedural steps so that the applicant can enter the U.S. lawfully. Compared to getting the waiver approved, these steps are simple.
Once the waiver is approved by USCIS, the applicant should receive a packet of information from the U.S. Embassy of her country of origin. The packet will instruct her to set up a new interview appointment at the consulate. This packet will generally be sent via DHL the day the consulate receives the I-601 approval notice from USCIS. This is generally 2-3 days after the USCIS approval. If the applicant does not receive the packet within 30 days it is recommended to contact the consulate. Once the packet’s instructions are followed the applicant can schedule the consulate interview online. This process is not done through the National Visa Center, as it was when the applicant received her visa denial.
Depending on when the last interview was with the consulate, the applicant might need to submit updated documents. If the last interview was more than one year ago, she will likely need to have a new medical exam done. In addition, it is likely the consulate will request new biometrics, an updated DS-260 and I-864 Affidavit of Support.
On the day of the interview, the applicant will bring all of the requested documents and her passport. The consulate will retain the passport after the visa is approved. A short time later, possibly as short as a week, the consulate will send via DHL the passport containing the visa and a sealed packet called the ‘Immigrant Visa Packet’. The visa is valid for entry into the U.S. for four months.
Upon entry into the U.S., the applicant will present the sealed Immigrant Visa Packet. The officer will stamp the visa and the stamp serves as a temporary green card (I-551) valid for one year. The actual green card should arrive sometime before the year is up. A social security number will be assigned automatically and a card arrives about three weeks after entry into the U.S.