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How to avoid being caught in visa scams

April 29, 2011 12:51 IST

In an online chat with Get Ahead readers on April 27, US Consular Officer answered queries about how to avoid being caught in scams and the consequences of engaging in visa fraud and determining eligibility for an immigrant visa.

Here is the unedited excerpt:

US Consular Officer answers,  at 2011-04-27 15:31:21The date your petition is filed determines the priority date. You can go to to find out information on the current priority dates for visas based on your category.
Parth asked, i have filed my pitition in october,2002 in brother sister category and why the process of immigration have stopped completely and why it went 2 years backward ??
US Consular Officer answers, There is information on regarding the priority dates that are current. There has been a retrogression in cases so the website provides details information regarding your situation.
US Consular Officer answers, If your priority date is current, you will still need to have a complete application before an interview can be scheduled and your information forwarded through the process.
US Consular Officer says, I appreciate the questions on student, work, and tourist visas; however, this webchat is regarding immigrant visas.

US Consular Officer says, Please check out our facebook pages for the latest updates on webchats to come and other interesting events.

rohit asked, Hi, my wife works for Ministry of Defence, India. Can there be any problem / issue for me in getting an immigrant visa?
US Consular Officer answers, No, not if you qualify for an immigrant visa category.
tejasbarot asked, Sir, Presently , my whole family is residing in U.S. they all have U.S. green card, They have granted U.S green card before one one. Only i does not have green card.My family already had put my file for immigration visa for suitable category. Pl. specify how long it will teke to get the visa on same base for me ?
US Consular Officer answers, YOu will have to check It would depend on your category and the priority date.
delta asked, Can i get to US without Visa, can i take a Mexican Visa and sneak to Texas?
US Consular Officer answers, No.
kgrvamsi asked, what exactly an immigrant visa is all about??
US Consular Officer answers, The immigrant visa process is a way to reunify American families. As an American citizen or legal permanent resident, you can petition for certain relatives to immigrate.
Arsh asked, Hi, B2 Visa is stamped on my Passport. My wife is US Green Card Holder, If she applies immigration for Me (I-130). My questio isn. 1. Will validity of my B2 is gone. 2. Will I be able to travel to US or I need to wait for completion of immigration process
US Consular Officer answers, 1. Your B visa remains valid; however, it is still a tourist visa so you cannot stay in the US. It is only for visiting for short periods. 2. You can travel on your tourist visa while you immigration case is pending, but again, you cannot stay in the US on a tourist visa.
swati asked, What is the process of filing green card for parents when you are a US Citizen
US Consular Officer answers, A US Citizen would have to file an immigrant petition, I-130, for each of your parents. Go to for information on filing an immigrant petition.
tejasbarot asked, Sir, I had checked that, but it seems that it will take very long time (i.e. 6 to 7 years ) Presently i am unmarried. Pl. tell me another way to get with the family ? It is possible for me to get the non immigrant visa ????
US Consular Officer answers, No, you cannot travel to the US to live on a tourist/ non immigrant visa. Doing so could bar you from legal immigration later. Your family would need to file your petition and once your case becomes current, you can proceed as a lawful immigrant.
Parth asked, Hw much time will it take for my visas if i hve filed in october, 2002 in brother sister category?
US Consular Officer answers, Go to to check the current priority dates.
Amar asked, My children have studied and are working in US. I am 60 years old . Can I get an immigrant visa to US ?
US Consular Officer answers, If they are a citizen or a legal permanent resident, they can file. Go to to find out more information.
vamsikgr asked, I have heard that people who get visa for canada can avail their opportunity in visting u the usa without any immigration that true???
US Consular Officer answers, No, visas are required to enter the US from any border, including Canada.
alka asked, to checkthe status they are asking my to provide receipt number i only have my case number and a bar code wheredo i find that 13 digit receipt number
US Consular Officer answers, You or your petitioner should contact for information.
Ash asked, Q1 : I am a chemical engr working in India, I would like to visit US for tour purpose as my sister stays there. Can I get VISA for the Same?? Q2 : What is the procedure to file for Green card in US?
US Consular Officer answers, YOu can apply for a tourist visa, but that is not an immigrant visa, which is part of the process to becoming a Legal Permanent Resident/ or greencard holder.
xyz asked, Sir, My younger brother is already in U.S. on student visa since last 4 years. My mom is also in U.S on permanent residency. She had went U.S. before one year. It is possible for my brother to change his status from non immigrant to immigrant
US Consular Officer answers, No, your mother would have to file an immigrant petition for him if he qualifies in an available category. Go to for more information on that.
Sunil asked, Hi Sir, I have been trying to get in touch with but there are no reasonable answer available with them. Can you please help me with the below? There was a VISA applied for the below case on F4-1 in the year 2009 and she received the same letter 18 June 2009. Unfortunately the letter got delayed. So Renuka Harshadbhai Patel has come all the way to India from US to take her daughter back. Name : Renuka Harshadbhai Patel Case No. BMB1996740018 Visa Applied : F4-1
US Consular Officer answers, I cannot answer individual case questions. Please be sure to include request for specific information in your email subject headline.
avani asked, sir, my husband has filed a petition for my green card in Oct 2010, when can the results be expected
US Consular Officer answers, I do not know, but you can check your priority date and category to determine when your visa will become current.
monty asked, Hi, I have a criminal case pending against me in India Section 420 IPC. If my wife in usa apply for immigrant visa for me, will there be any issues. Do i need to take any permission from court?
US Consular Officer answers, Though I cannot speak to the specifics of your case, all immigrant visa applicants must submit a police clearance from the Passport office.
kpboyspn asked, what is the procedure and papers & how long the procedure takes,
US Consular Officer answers, Please go to They will have information on the procedures and required paperwork.
Akbar asked, Hi, My passport has my name spelled as MOHAMMAD AKBAR Instead of MOHAMMED AKBAR. E is replaced with A. Which actually doesnt make a difference. WOuld there be any problem for me in immigration?
US Consular Officer answers, No, there is no issue in applying for an immigrant visa if you have a petition pending. At most, you may need to clarify the issue.
sidhaan asked, hi sir can yor tell me how to check whether the dates are cureent or not? i have checked on website couldt find a link. Pleas Help
US Consular Officer answers, go to Current priority dates are listed there as well as
alka asked, do i check priority dates in visa bulletin is this address correct it shows feb 2000 for F4 category
US Consular Officer answers, Go to for priority dates
Bharat asked, expected date for visa interview in F4 category for 2002
US Consular Officer answers, please check or for current priority dates
US Consular Officer says, Thank you for your questions on work and tourist visas, but this webchat is limited to immigrant visas.

nidhi asked, My son was born in US and is a citizen of USA. Can my son file for permanent resident for his mother and father?
US Consular Officer answers, Please go to for information on the minimum age for a US Citizen to file an immigrant petition and other requirements.
kristav asked, i am a beneficiary under f4 category immigrant visa, filed in dec2001, have submitted the docs and know abt the retrogression of dates. however, i am a doctor and wish to give my usmle step2 cs practical exam this year before september.can i get a exam visa if i apply for one this year? i have heard exam visa applications get rejected if immigration file process is going on.
US Consular Officer answers, Your are evualated for a non immigrant visa based on the laws applicable. This is even if you have an immigrant visa petition pending.
RajuS asked, My brother lives in the US. I have lived there for 4 years, but returned 10 years ago to India. Is it possible for my brother to file for Immigrant visa for me.
US Consular Officer answers, Time living in the US is not the determining factor, but rather is the person petitioning is a US Citizen or US Legal Permanent Resident. Go to for more information.
Abdul asked, I want to migrate to US, What is the eligibility criteria for applying an immigrant visa.
US Consular Officer answers, YOu have to qualify as the recipient of an immigrant visa petition based on certain categories. Check for more information on the immigrant visa categories.
Bharat asked, My Birth date as per Birth certifacte is 21.07.1964 while my passport B.Certi.22.07.1964 on basis of schools leaving certi. for this i am affidevit for this. it is any problem at time of visa for US with F4
US Consular Officer answers, YOu will need to submit documentation as required. Based on the information, your case will proceed as such.
Akbar asked, my finacee lives in the U.S and she is green card holder. how should we go bout my immigration?
US Consular Officer answers, If your spouse is a greencard holder, she can file a petition for you once you are married provided you fall in a category. There is no category for an immigrant visa for fiances of green card holders. asked, respected sir , we wife family is in america from last ten years, they have applied a family vis of all of us in june 2006 , last year we recd aletter from embassy which is not to left your job , you are in the que , it will take time , what does it mean or how much time it will take
US Consular Officer answers, It will depend on the category of immigrant visa you are listed under and the current priority dates. You can go to for information on priority dates.
Sridhar asked, Hello, my sister is a Permanent Resident in the US and wants to invite our parents for a visit in the US. Can you pls share what documents she needs to send for this? I suppose these will be in addition to the DS-160 that each of the parents will submit. Thanks.
US Consular Officer answers, There are no required documents for the non immigrant/tourist visa other than the DS-160. Additional documents are only part of the immigrant visa process.
ashok20p asked, Hello. My fiancee filed a K1 visa petition and I gave an Interview at the Chennai Consulate, and I was asked to submit more documents like PCC, tax returns. So I applied for a Police clearance at the passport office. It took a while for me to get that document. I submitted all the documents and I got a letter back from the consulate saying that the petition has been expired. Now filing a K1 again will be a better option or K3?
US Consular Officer answers, If you are still not married, a K1 petition is what you should file. If you get married, you will need to file an I-130 for the spouse of a Citizen. There is no time saved by filing as an fiance versus a spouse if you in fact do get married.
Nooji asked, My wife uncle stays in US and is a Green Card holder, can he sponsor me immigrant VISA. Will I be eligible for working in US with this sponsorship.
US Consular Officer answers, No, there is no visa category that you would qualify under. For more information on the immigrant visa categories go to
alka asked, current file running ol is mar 2000 and my file is sept 2001 when shall i xpect my visas bcoz i have to take critical decision for my education as i studying in singapore
US Consular Officer answers, I cannot give you an answer on that, but you can go to for more details about this
TC asked, I have lived in the US for 7 years and got my degrees from prestigious US top 20 schools. I paid taxes and never commited any felony there. Can I apply for a immigrant visa i.e to stay there permanently
US Consular Officer answers, You have to qualify for a category for immigration. Please go to for information to determine if you meet the requirements, but studying in the US does not meet the requirement.
Harendra asked, Under the married son/daughter category, our parents have filed petition for immigrant Visa in April 2002. The dates for interview had progressed upto April 2002 & has subsequently gone back to 2001.How do we move forward? should we wait for letter from US immigration dept?
US Consular Officer answers, Yes, you will be contacted once your case becomes current again. Go to for current priority dates.
US Consular Officer says, Thank you for all of your questions. I hope this was helpful. Goodbye