Consular Processing Forms Change: Forms DS-230 and DS-3032 Being Replaced

New, online forms required for people getting an immigrant visa through a U.S. consulate.

If you’ve read Nolo books such as How to Get a Green Card or Fiancé and Marriage Visas or U.S. Immigration Made Easy, you know that applicants for a U.S. green card (lawful permanent residence) who are coming from overseas must fill out forms and documents as part of their “consular processing.” This is all handled through the National Visa Center (NVC) and the U.S. consulate in the person’s home country.

You also know that, up to now, would-be immigrants were required to prepare and submit Forms DS-230 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) and DS-3032 (Choice of Address and Agent Form) as part of consular processing.

The U.S. Department of State (DOS) has changed the procedure, however. As of September 3, 2013, it will begin asking applicants to use online immigrant visa forms, with new numbers: Form DS-260 (Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration) and Form DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent). Both forms will be available for free on the DOS website at ceac.state.gov.

If you have already filled out a Form DS-230 and been scheduled for your visa interview at a U.S. consulate, you probably will not need to fill out the new DS-260. Some applicants may, however, need to fill out the new version of this form even after having submitted the old one. Follow the instructions you receive from the NVC or U.S. consulate.