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Visas transactions through the Embassy in Ghana

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Filed: IR-1/CR-1 Visa Country: Ghana
Timeline

Since it seems like Ghana is one of those countries where it takes 6 months or more to get an interview for the cr1, I sent an inquiry to the embassy asking if they expected the process to improve now that the k3 visa is somewhat dead (http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_2993.html#4). It is my understanding that Ghana only offers interviews for the CR1 one day each month - amazing. Any way, I didn't get a direct answer to my question. What I received was an auto response that include a lot of information about various visas handled through Ghana. I thought I would just share it with anyone who could benefit. I do plan to resubmit my original email to a more direct address that is provided in their automated response. Below is the automated response I received - I hope it is helpful to someone:

Thank you for your inquiry. After receiving an increase in the number of incoming emails and telephonic inquiries regarding Immigrant Visas, we are providing this automatic response to answer the most frequently asked questions regarding Immigrant and Diversity Visas. If this response does not answer your question, we will respond to your email within five to seven business days. If your question is addressed in the list of Frequently Asked Questions below, our office will consider that your questions have been answered and you will not receive a response from our office.

** Please note that as of October 1, 2009, Immigrant and Diversity Visa inquiries may not be made over the telephone or in person at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, Ghana. All inquiries must be made in writing through our public inquiry email address.

We have officially begun DNA testing at the U.S. Embassy Accra. If you have been waiting for an appointment for DNA testing, we will contact applicants for appointments during fall 2009.

The Consular Section is open to the public:

Office Hours: Monday- Thursday, 7:30a.m. - 5:00p.m.

Friday- 7:30a.m. - 12:30p.m.

Except for U.S. and Ghanaian holidays the Embassy is closed.

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If your inquiry is regarding American Citizen Services, please resend your email to ACSAccra@state.gov

If your inquiry is regarding Non-Immigrant Visas, please resend your email to NIVAccra@state.gov.

If your inquiry is regarding an adoption, please resend your email to AccraAdoption@state.gov

If you have an inquiry for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services, please resend your email to USCISAccra@dhs.gov.

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Frequently Asked questions: Table of Contents

1. Where can I get more information about immigrant visas, the Diversity Visa Lottery program, and the National Visa Center?

2. What is the status of my case?

3. How can my family join me in the United States?

4. When will I get an appointment letter and package?

5. Can I file an Immigrant Visa petition in Accra?

6. If I missed my appointment, how can I reschedule?

7. Where will the interview take place?

8. What photos will I need to bring? How many?

9. What documents do I need to bring?

10. What items are not allowed at my visa interview?

11. How do I add a family member to my Immigrant Visa case?

12. Does the petitioner need to come to the interview?

13. Who must attend the interview? Do I need to bring all of my children?

14. Can I pick up the visa the same day?

15. Do I owe money for the visas? What are the visa fees?

16. What happens when a case is recommended for revocation?

17. What is the cost of filing a waiver? How do I check the status of my waiver?

18. How do I check my priority date?

19. What do I do if my Permanent Residence "Green Card" is lost or expired?

20. I was told of that my case had been placed on hold for State Administrative Processing when I had my visa interview between April 16-June 8, 2009. When will my case be rescheduled?

21. What is an Affidavit of Support? Why do I need to provide an Affidavit of Support for my relative?

22. My relative was asked to bring an IRS tax transcript. Where do I obtain one?

23. Can you grant my relative a Non-immigrant Visa while we wait for the pending Immigrant Visa petition?

24. Can I be issued a visa after the Diversity Visa Season ends?

25. How can I schedule an appointment for my adoptive child?

26. Where can I go for DNA testing? How can I make an appointment? Can I walk in?

27. What do I need to do to prepare for my DNA appointment?

Q1: Where can I get more information about immigrant visas, the Diversity Visa Lottery program, and the National Visa Center (NVC)?

A: For information about Immigrant Visas and the National Visa Center, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1309.html.

For information about the Diversity Visa Lottery Program and the Kentucky Consular Center, please visit:

http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1321.html.

For information about the interview process, please visit:

http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3731.html.

A glossary of technical definitions of terms for visas can be found at:

http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/glossary/glossary_1363.html

For information about adjudicating waivers, processing permanent residence cards, Affidavit of Supports, and granting U.S. Citizenship, please visit: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3730.html or www.uscis.gov.

Q2. What is the status of my case?

A: Please resend us an email with the beneficiary's name and case number (beginning with ACC) and we will respond within five-seven business days.

Q3. How can my family join me in the United States?

A: If you are a U.S. Citizen or Permanent Resident and want to obtain Immigrant Visas for your family to join you in the United States, you must first file a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For further information, visit: www.uscis.gov or www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1310.html.

Q4. When will I get an appointment letter and package?

A: If NVC sent you a letter stating that your file is complete and sent to Accra for scheduling, please wait for your appointment letter to be sent to you. Please note that this may take several months, depending on the immigrant visa filed. You can expect to receive this appointment letter several weeks before your appointment. If original documents were sent to NVC, please remember to bring photocopies of all documents, including birth, marriage, divorce and death certificates, etc. to your appointment.

If your inquiry concerns an immigrant visa case in which the I-130 petition was filed in the United States, and it has not been scheduled for an appointment, please send your inquiry directly to the National Visa Center. To contact them, please email: NVCInquiry@state.gov. If you have been informed by USCIS that your petition has been approved and forwarded to the Department of State, please contact NVC directly.

If you were selected for the Diversity Visa lottery, please contact the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) for your appointment date at: KCCDV@state.gov.

Q5. Can I file an Immigrant Visa petition in Accra?

A: In order to file an I-130 petition at the U.S. Embassy in Accra, you must be an American citizen petitioner filing for an immediate relative (spouse, child or parent). You must demonstrate that you have resided in the consular district continuously for at least six months before filing the petition. Individuals who are in the country on temporary status, such as students or tourists, would NOT be considered to meet the residency requirement. Please remember to bring ORIGINAL documents of birth, marriage, divorce, death, etc. If the petition is approved, please keep in mind that by the time of the interview, the beneficiary must be able to show that the petitioner is domiciled in the United States. This evidence can include bank accounts in the U.S., fund transfers to the U.S., investments in the U.S., employment in the U.S., registration of children in U.S. schools, application for a social security number, voting in local, state, or federal elections, valid leases, mortgages, utility bills, telephone bills, or other mail established in the petitioner's name.

Q6. If I missed my appointment, how can I reschedule?

A: Please come to the Embassy on any Wednesday at 7:30a.m. with a written explanation of why you missed your appointment date. Please note that you will be given the next available appointment date. We will not expedite appointments for those who have missed their appointments.

Q7. Where will the interview take place?

A: All interviews for Immigrant Visas will take place at the U.S. Embassy Accra. The Embassy is located at No. 24, Fourth Circular Rd, Cantonments, Accra.

Q8. What photos will I need to bring? How many?

A: Two color passport photos are required for the interview. The required sizes are for passports: 1 ½ inches by 1 ½ inches (5 cm x 5 cm). It is a good idea to bring an extra photo. For more detailed information on photo requirements, please visit: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3746.html.

Q9. What documents do I need to bring?

A: The required documents are listed on the checklist provided by NVC or on our letter addressed to you. Remember, however, that each case is different. Please remember to bring ORIGINAL records of birth, marriage, divorce, death, police certificates, etc., including birth certificates of the petitioner (if the petitioner is a son, daughter or sibling of the applicant). Please bring a photocopy of each document. If applying for a family-based immigrant visa, please bring any evidence (photographs, correspondence, phone records, etc) that demonstrates the relationship between you and the petitioner.

You must bring an international passport. If you are qualified for the visa, we will keep it until the visa is printed and placed inside of the passport. Please make sure that the passport is valid for at least six months, and that there are no other valid passports in your name. If you have previously issued passports that are still valid, please bring them to the interview with you. Please make sure that there are no written observations inside of your passport. If there is a written observation, you will be asked to get another passport. For more details about original documents, please visit: http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3741.html.

Q10. How do I add a family member to my Immigrant Visa case?

A: If you are inquiring about a new family member whom you wish to add to an approved petition stored at the National Visa Center, please contact NVC in writing, providing the petitioner's and beneficiary's names and dates of birth, case number, receipt number, and a copy of the birth certificate. To contact NVC by phone, you must call between 7:30a.m. and midnight, Monday through Friday, Eastern Standard Time (EST). It may be easier to reach NVC during the morning hours. Follow the prompts to speak with an operator. NVC's telephone number is: (603) 334-0700. You may also inquire via fax: (603) 334-0791, or email at NVCInquiry@state.gov.

For Diversity Visa entries, if you are inquiring about adding a family member (that was NOT a family member at the time of you original Diversity Visa entry) to your DV case, it can be done on the day of your interview at the U.S. Embassy. All standard Diversity Visa fees apply for all family members.

Q11. What items are not allowed at my visa interview?

A: For security reasons, you may not take the following items into the building: weapons of any kind or size, sharp metal or glass objects, razor blades, liquids, bottles, powdery substances, umbrellas and electronic or battery-operated equipment (including cell phones, radios, tape recorders, cameras, personal digital assistants, computers), food, drinks, or pre-mixed baby formula. There are no lockers available in which to store these items, so please plan accordingly.

Q12. Who must attend the interview? Do I need to bring all of my children?

A: All applicants must be in attendance for their interview.

Q13. Does the petitioner need to come to the interview?

A: We do not require the petitioner to attend visa interviews because of space restrictions. However, a family member may come to aid the elderly applicants or young children.

Q14. Can I pick up the visa the same day?

A: Due to the administrative processing associated with visa issuance, it is not possible to issue visas on the same day of the interview. Instead, most visas will be available for pick up at 8:00a.m. on Fridays one week after the interview. DO NOT make any travel plans until after you have picked up your passport with the visa inserted into it.

Q15. Do I owe money for the visas? What are the visa fees?

A: If you have been receiving documentation from the National Visa Center, then most likely you have already paid the visa fee. If not, the current IV fee is USD $400 per applicant regardless of age.

All Diversity Visa lottery applicants must pay the USD $775 fee or the Ghana Cedi equivalent per applicant to the U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana on the day of the interview. Please note that you must pay for your entire family before the initial visa interview. If you have not paid for your family before your initial interview, your family will not be allowed to travel with you.

All K-1 and K-3 visas must pay the $131 nonimmigrant (visitor) visa application fee. The K-1 and K-3 fee may be paid at the local Standard Charter bank before your interview or at the U.S. Embassy, Accra on the day of your interview.

Fees at the U.S. Embassy can be paid in US dollars or in equivalent Ghana Cedis at the current U.S. Embassy exchange rate.

Q16. What happens when a case is recommended for revocation?

A: When a Consular Officer recommends that a petition be revoked, the case is sent from the U.S. Embassy, Accra, Ghana to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC then forwards the case to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services' office where the petition was originally approved. The U.S. Embassy, Accra no longer has jurisdiction over a case once it has been recommended for revocation. As such, you should contact NVC at NVCInquiry@state.gov or USCIS for further information regarding your case. Contact information for USCIS can be found at www.uscis.gov. Please note that it can take several months for a case to be sent from Accra to the United States.

Q17. What is the cost of filing a waiver? How do I check the status of my waiver?

A: The fee to file an I-601 waiver is $545. The fee to file an I-212 waiver is also $545. If you are filing both waivers, the total cost is $1090. Waivers are accepted on Wednesdays at 7:30a.m. If you would like to check the status of a waiver, please send an email to USCISAccra@dhs.gov.

Q18. How do I check my priority date?

A: The Department of State publishes the list of current priority dates every month (known as the Visa Bulletin). You can find the current one, as well as archived bulletins at: http://travel.state.gov/visa/frvi/bulletin/bulletin_1360.html.

Q19. What is an Affidavit of Support? Why do I need to provide an Affidavit of Support for my relative?

A: If you need more information regarding the Affidavit of supports, please visit http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_3730.html or www.USCIS.gov. Please note that you can also obtain affidavit of support form from the USCIS website.

Q20. What do I do if my Permanent Residence "Green Card" is lost or expired?

A: Please come to the U.S. Embassy on any Wednesday morning at 7:30a.m. for inquiry so that we can assist you further. Please bring your expired Permanent Residence card with you to the interview.

Q 21. I was told of that my case had been placed on hold for State Administrative Processing when I had my visa interview between April 16-June 8, 2009. When will my case be rescheduled?

A: All of the Immigrant Visa cases/applicants that were informed of our administrative processing between these dates have all been rescheduled for appointments between October 2009 and December 2009. If you were told of administrative processing between these dates and have not received an appointment date, please send us an email with the subject line: "2009 Administrative Processing Case)" including the applicant's case number.

Q22. My relative was asked to bring an IRS tax transcript. Where do I obtain one?

A: To find more information about IRS tax transcripts, please visit www.irs.gov.

Q23. How can I schedule an appointment for my adoptive child?

A: Please send an email to AccraAdoption@state.gov.

Q24. Can you grant my relative a Non-immigrant Visa while we wait for the pending Immigrant Visa petition?

A: No. We recommend that Immigrant Visa applicants complete their application for the Immigrant Visa. All applicants applying for a Non-Immigrant Visa should request information at: NIVAccra@state.gov.

Q25. Can I be issued a visa after the Diversity Visa Season ends?

A: No. The Diversity Visa Season ends on September 30th of each year. We can no longer issue any visas from the previous Diversity Visa program year after this date.

Q26. Where can I go for DNA testing? How can I make an appointment? Can I walk in?

A: In September 2009, the U.S. Department of State implemented new rules regarding the collection of DNA samples for Immigrant Visas. Samples are now collected only at the U.S. Embassy, on an appointment basis. Beneficiaries for immigration visas will first meet with a U.S. consular officer during a scheduled appointment. At that time, they are encouraged to provide documentary evidence of their relationship with the petitioner. DNA will only be used as a final resort to confirm proof of a relationship. If a petitioner and beneficiary are unable to demonstrate their relationship by other means, DNA is an option, but in all cases, it is voluntary, and in no case will it be the only means used to prove a relationship.

Unfortunately, we cannot accept walk-ins for DNA sample collection.

Q27. What do I need to do to prepare for my DNA appointment?

The best preparation for a DNA appointment is to bring adequate proof of a relationship during the initial interview with a U.S. consular officer. If that is not possible, you will be asked to bring your passport and two photos, and the FedEx waybill (sent from the U.S. laboratory) to your sample collection appointment. Once you received an appointment letter for DNA sample collection from our office, you will be instructed to pay for the cost of the sampling in advance.


Staying strong and patient in love and faith!

http://ghanaspouse.blogspot.com/

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