Effective September 1, 2013, Form DS-261 replaced the paper-based Form DS-3032 when selecting an agent or attorney to act on your behalf for the visa center processing of an immigrant visa or green card being issued through a U.S. Embassy/Consulate. The DS 261 is a fully integrated online electronic visa application form used to collect the necessary application information from persons seeking immigrant visas and his/her agent or attorney. This online form is completed and submitted online to the Department of State via the Internet through the Consular Electronic Applications Center (CEAC). The form may be partially completed, saved online to finish, and submitted later; or the forms can be completed and submitted in a single session.
If the DS 261 is completed and an agent or attorney is authorized to act on your behalf, then the agent or attorney can do the following: access your on-line case file, submit Form DS-260 immigrant visa application for all traveling immigrants, submit the visa fees on-line, make case inquiries to the visa center on your behalf, receive emails from the visa center on your behalf and submit documents to the visa center on your behalf.
In the situation where you want to change your agent or attorney, then simply complete a new Form DS-261 on-line and submit it on-line to the visa center. On Form DS 261, an agent can be a family member acting on your behalf because you don’t have access to a computer or an agent can be a professional such as an attorney. Beware of using immigration service providers and designating a service provider as your agent on Form DS-261. Many immigration service providers are known to take visa fees from clients but not submit it on-line to the visa center.
It is recommended to use a reputable immigration attorney when choosing to designate an agent on Form DS-261 to act on your behalf during the visa center processing of the immigrant visa or green card. Our office is experienced in completing Form DS 261 and acting on our clients behalf is submitting all required documents and fees to the visa center. We would be happy to help you!