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INS vs. State Department

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  • INS vs. State Department

    Could someone please clarify the diferences and or pros and cons between INS and the State Department with regards to visas and the like.

    In other words, why would someone apply for a visa through the State Department vs. the INS.

  • #2
    I know State Department manages by Green Card Lotteries Visas. It's funny, but looks like they in the different counties with INS. INS has very limited information about GC Lottery. I wrote, called and came to INS but got only unclear and wrong information. As result INS did not granted me by GC. Right now I am a very big specialist in the GC Lottery processing, but without Card and maybe status.


    • #3
      The INS is under the DOJ and handles all immigration matters inside the U.S. So if an immigrant is here, he/she has no choice but to deal with the INS EXCEPT, if the immigrant chooses to go for consular processing. Consular processing means the immigrant has or chose to go through an American Embassy or Consulate, which are under the State Department, to have his immigration papers processed.

      Most cases consular processing (or through the State Department as you refer to it) is faster because there are less people going to that particular embassy/consulate. This is of course highly dependent on the country. Countries like the Philippines may not show any significant advantage in terms of consular processing.

      Hope that helped a bit.


      • #4
        Only the State Dept can issue visas - INS does not. INS determines who can enter the US, the State Dept does not. A visa is really only "permission to ask permission to be admitted to the US" ; by itself it is NOT permission to enter the United States.
        Certain visa functions overlap a bit with State and INS; State issues visas to those who have approved petitions which have been approved by INS.
        The State dept through its consular officers determines eligibility of an applicant for a visa whereas INS determines the admissibility of an alien arriving at a port of entry (typically airports, but not limited to airports).