How Do I Move from Pakistan to the United States?
You are able to move to the United States permanently if you are a Pakistani citizen through a number of different ways, depending on your personal situation. Broadly speaking, there are two routes for moving to the US – immigrant or non-immigrant visas.
An immigrant visa is suitable if you would like to move to the United States and become a permanent resident, so this is usually the route you will need to take. There are multiple visa options for a Pakistani citizen, but generally you will either need to be sponsored by a US citizen or a lawful permanent resident immediate relative or expected future employer in the US
The petition by the sponsor is the beginning of the process of moving from Pakistan, and this is required to be filed on behalf of the Pakistani citizen’s behalf with the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
There is also the option to travel to the United States on a non-immigrant visa such as the K1 or K2 Visa.
- How Do I Move from Pakistan to the United States?
- Which Immigrant Visa is Right For Me?
- What is the Application Process for Moving from Pakistan to the US?
- What are the Required Documents for a Visa Application to the US?
- Do I Need to Have a Medical Examination?
- How Much Does it Cost to Immigrate from Pakistan to the US?
- How Long Will it Take to Get My Visa?
- What Happens if My Application is Denied?
- How Can Total Law Help?
- Frequently Asked Questions
A citizen from Pakistan seeking to live permanently in the US can be sponsored by a family member who is over the age of 21 and is either a US citizen or US Lawful Permanent Resident (Green Card holder).
The two types of family-based immigration visas are:
Immediate Relative (IR1, IR2, IR3, IR4, IR5) – these immigrant visas can be applied for through a close family relationship with a US citizen, which includes a spouse, child or parent. The number of Pakistani immigrants that are granted a successful application in this visa is not limited each year in the United States.
Family Preference – this immigrant visa is for more distant family relatives of a US citizen or those with a specified relationship with a Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR) and includes unmarried sons and daughters over the age of 21, siblings and married children of any age. The number of Pakistani immigrants in these categories is limited each year.
It should be noted that US citizens can sponsor an immigrant visa petition for their spouse, children, parent(s) and siblings, while a LPR (someone who is a non-citizen but can live lawfully in the US) can only sponsor their spouse or unmarried son or daughter.
Fiancé(e) K1 Non-Immigrant Visa
The fiancé(e) K1 Visa is for the Pakistani-citizen fiancé(e) of a US citizen. The K1 Visa allows you to travel to the United States and marry your sponsor within 90 days of arriving in the country.
After a successful K1 Visa application, you will then apply for adjustment of status to a LPR with the Department of Homeland Security, US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) so that you can stay in the US permanently.
If you have children in Pakistan, they can apply for K2 Visas which allow them to join you in the US.
Employment Based Immigration
An Employment Based Visa is granted to allow Pakistani nationals to move to the US and work, due to a job offer. These Employment Based Visas are put into several preference level categories.
For a Pakistani citizen with extraordinary ability, such as being an outstanding professor or researcher, being a multinational executive or being in a high level management role, an EB1 Visa is a visa that you can apply for and be eligible for.
If you have any advanced degrees or exceptional ability and knowledge in your field, then you are permitted to apply for an EB2 Visa.
To gain an EB3 Visa, you will need to have a Bachelor’s degree or have professional experience of less than two years.
For an EB4 Visa you will be required to be a religious employee or a worker of a US foreign service post.
An EB5 Visa allows foreign investors to live in the US if you invest a certain amount of capital in a new business enterprise that creates jobs for US workers.
What is the Application Process for Moving from Pakistan to the US?
There are a number of different steps you need to take when applying for a visa to move to the US from Pakistan. First you need to determine which visa route is the correct one for your personal situation.
For some citizens of Pakistan, it might also be necessary to obtain a passport. This is an essential part of the initial application of a US visa. You can then begin the application process at US Embassy or Consulate in Islamabad once you have a valid passport.
If you are coming to the US on an Employment Visa, you will need your prospective employer to sponsor your application for a visa.
Once you have completed the necessary forms, you will then attend an interview at the Embassy in Islamabad, before providing all supporting documents.
The application steps to obtaining a US visa are complex. It is best to speak to one of our expert immigration lawyers at Total Law to ensure you have all the required documents so that you have the best chance at a successful visa application. Call us at +1 844 290 6312 or request a callback on our website.
What are the Required Documents for a Visa Application to the US?
The required documents for immigrating to the US from Pakistan differ depending on if you are applying for an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant visa such as the K1 Visa.
For Immigrant Visas
- Form DS-260 (online)
- Affidavit of support which can be a sponsor (a family member or employer) that proves you will be working or that they will support you financially
- Original birth certificates, marriage certificates, and police certificates from Pakistan. If these are in a language that is not English, there must be a certified translation from an approved translator
- Proof of a medical examination from an approved clinic and any required vaccinations
- A valid passport
- Passport-sized photographs
- You will need additional documents proving your employability and any certificates you have if you are applying for an Employment Visa
For Non-Immigrant Visas
- Form DS-160 (Online Non-immigrant Visa Application)
- Valid passport
- A medical examination from an approved clinic and proof of any required vaccinations
- Passport-sized photographs
Do I Need to Have a Medical Examination?
In preparation for the interview at the Embassy Islamabad, you are required to schedule and complete a medical examination. Before the approval of most US visas, all applicants must undergo a medical examination conducted by an authorised physician.
You will be told about medical examinations from the US Embassy in Islamabad or Consulate where you will apply for your visa, including information about where the authorised physicians are located for visa applications.
How Much Does it Cost to Immigrate from Pakistan to the US?
The cost of immigrating to the United States for Pakistani citizens can vary significantly depending on the type of visa you apply for.
US Immigrant Visa Fees
- DS-260 (USCIS Immigrant) fee – $350
- I-130 Form fee – $120
- There are also translator fees, medical examination and biometric photo fees that will vary depending on which services you use.
US Non-Immigrant Visa Fees
- DS-160 form – $265
- There are also translator fees, medical examination and biometric photo fees that will vary depending on which services you use
- If you apply for a Green Card, you will pay an additional amount of approximately $1225.
How Long Will it Take to Get My Visa?
Once your application has been received from NVC by the US Embassy or Consulate in Islamabad that will process it, the time it takes to process varies from case to case according to its individual circumstances.
However, for example, the average processing time for a K1 Visa is 12-18 months and 8-10 months for an IR1 Visa.
Some cases get delayed due to applicants not following instructions enough or due to giving incomplete information. Some visa applications will require further administrative processing, which takes additional and unforeseen time following the visa applicant’s interview.
Reach out to an immigration expert if you are unclear about the documentation needed for your chosen pathway as submitting incomplete paperwork can lead to delays and possible refusal.
What Happens if My Application is Denied?
If your application was denied due to it being incomplete or requiring additional documentation or information, the consular officer in Islamabad will give you a letter explaining what you need to submit and how to do so.
If your application was denied due to you being ineligible for a visa based on one or more grounds of inadmissibility (such as health, criminal, security, public charge, fraud or immigration violations), some of these grounds can be waived if you apply for a waiver of ineligibility. Not all of these qualify for a waiver, however.
The waiver process could take a few months or longer and is not guaranteed to be approved.
Often fees for applications are not refundable, so it is important to complete it right the first time. Ensure you fill in your application correctly by seeking advice from our specialised immigration lawyers. Contact Total Law today at +1 844 290 6312 or request a callback on our website for any support with your application.
How Can Total Law Help?
You can save a lot of time and money by contacting our specialised immigration lawyers. Understanding the US immigration law can be difficult, and can result in delays or even a denial of your visa application. Total Law immigration lawyers can ensure your visa application for immigration to the US contains everything you need to maximise your chances of a successful application.
The entire team at Total Law understand the importance of your application and that it might be essential to your future from Pakistan to the United States. We will work with you to make each step of the process easier.
The best step to give you clarity on your type of visa is to get in touch with the team at Total Law. This will ensure you have a much higher success rate for your immigration application and that you do not waste your money and time. You can contact us seven days a week, either on the phone at +1 844 290 6312 or by requesting a callback online.
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Your priority date is the date of which you filed your petition with USCIS.
Yes, an immigrant from Pakistan can become an American citizen through naturalization by living in the United States for a specified period, usually five years (three years if you are married to a US citizen). You must also pass a naturalization examination.