DOS Stops Collecting Original Documents in Support of Immigrant Visa Applications

The Department of State (DOS) has announced, through the issuance of a policy guidance to U.S. embassies and consulates, that it will no longer collect original civil documents in support of immigrant visa applications. The change was effective November 12, 2014.

According to the guidance, “[m]ost applicants will be required to submit photocopies of supporting documents (such as birth, marriage, and police certificates) and will be instructed to take their original documents to their interviews for review.” The DOS notes however that petitioners will still submit original affidavit of support forms. The guidance includes new instructions for applicants regarding submitting such documents and outlines steps to take depending on whether applications are being submitted at post that does not yet process applications electronically or at designated electronic processing posts.

The new policy guidance is reproduced in the Appendix below.

Appendix 1

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