Immigrant Visas

Applicants who want to move to the United States permanently need to apply for an Immigrant Visa.

The following are types of Immigrant Visas:

An applicant may be eligible to immigrate to the United States based on the relationship to a U.S. citizen or U.S. legal permanent resident ("green card holder"). If the applicant's spouse, parent, child, or sibling is a U.S. citizen, he/she can file an I-130 petition to begin the process with the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. If the applicant's spouse or parent is a legal permanent resident, he/she may also file an I-130 petition with the Department of Homeland Security in the United States, subject to certain age and marital status restrictions. For more information, please consult these Web sites: www.dhs.gov or www.uscis.gov.

Applicants may not begin the application process themselves; only the U.S. citizen or resident relative may initiate the immigration process. Only after they have filed a petition and it has been approved can the Embassy or Consulate assist an applicant.

For more information, please consult this Web site:
http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/immigrants_1340.html.

Once the applicant's petition has been approved and is "current", the file will be sent to a US Embassy or Consulate in a location based on the choice of the applicant. All applicants will be required to appear in person for an interview with a Consular Officer. At that time, the applicant will have to present evidence of eligibility to immigrate which includes a medical exam, a police report, and an affidavit of support from the U.S. citizen or resident who filed the petition. For additional information on the documents the applicant must submit along with the immigrant visa application, please see the instructions sent along with the applicant's appointment letter.

To apply for an employment-based immigrant visa, the U.S. firm offering the applicant the employment opportunity should contact the local United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office or Department of Labor in the United States for further information. The U.S. employer must begin the process by filing an I-140 petition with the Department of Homeland Security in the United States. Only after they have filed a petition and it has been approved can the Consular Section assist the applicant.

For more information, please consult: www.uscis.gov.

Once your petition has been approved and an appointment has been scheduled, the applicant will have to present evidence of eligibility to immigrate including a medical exam, a police report, and, other relevant information pertaining to the applicant’s educational and professional qualifications. For additional information on the documents the applicant must submit along with the immigrant visa application, please see the instructions sent along with the applicant's appointment letter.

The Congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program makes available approximately 50,000 diversity visas (DV) annually, drawn from random selection among all entries to persons who meet strict eligibility requirements from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.

For more information, please consult: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1322.html#1.

If your entry is chosen and you are notified by the U.S. Government that you are a DV "winner", the applicant will have to present evidence of eligibility to immigrate including a medical exam, a police report, and documentary evidence or the applicant's educational or professional credentials. For additional information on the documents the applicant must submit along with the immigrant visa application, please see the instructions sent along with the applicant's appointment letter.

 

The Department of State, Office of Visa Services, advises the public of a notable increase in fraudulent emails and letters sent to Diversity Immigrant Visa (DV) program (Visa Lottery) applicants. The scammers behind these fraudulent emails and letters are posing as the U.S. government in an attempt to extract payment from DV applicants. There is no charge to download and complete the Electronic Diversity Visa Entry Form. All applicants should be familiar with information about DV scams provided by the Federal Trade Commission. Also review the procedures for the DV program provided above, so that you know what to expect, when to expect it, and from whom.

Finally, remember that all DV applicants must check their status online, and will not receive a notification letter from the U.S. government. DV Entry Status Check will only be provided through the Department of State secure online site, http://www.dvlottery.state.gov. Refer to the additional fraud warning information below, as well as frequently asked questions about fraud protection for more information.

There are other special categories of Immigrant Visas.

For more information, please consult: http://travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/types/types_1326.html.

Fiancé(e) Visas are included in this section because even though they are technically nonimmigrant visas, they are processed by the immigrant visa unit. This visa is for an applicant who is a fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen, an applicant who is engaged or contracted to be married. The marriage must be legally possible according to laws of the state in the United States where the marriage will take place.

The American citizen who wants to bring a foreign fiancé(e) to travel to the U S to marry and live in the United States must file Form I-129F with the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) office that serves the area where the U.S. citizen lives. This petition cannot be filed at an embassy, consulate or U.S. immigration office abroad.

After the USCIS approves the petition, it sends the petition to National Visa Center for processing, prior to sending it to the embassy or consulate where the fiancé(e) will apply for a K-1 nonimmigrant visa for a fiancé(e). Children of K-1 applicants should apply for a K-2 visa.

After getting the fiancé(e) visa, the fiancé(e) of the U.S. citizen enters the United States through a U.S. Port of Entry. The U.S. immigration official gives the fiancé(e) instructions on what to do when entering the United States The couple must get married within 90 days of the fiancé(e)'s entry into the United States.

Spouses of U.S. citizens who wish to come to the United States and wait there while they complete their immigration process apply for K-3 visas. The minor children (under 21 years of age) of K-3 applicants who plan to live in the U.S. with their K-3 parent apply for K-4 visas.

The advantage of K visas is that they allow the engaged couple or the spouse (and their minor children) to be together in the United States while completing the immigrant visa process.

If you are applying for any of the above mentioned visas and have already received a notification letter from the consular section to schedule an appointment and have completed Form DS-160, please create and account on this webpage and follow the instructions.

As each case varies, please follow the instructions that were provided in the letter or other correspondence provided at the time the applicant was given authorization to schedule, including the preparation of the required documents, as well as any details regarding medical examinations.

A permanent resident card, commonly known as a green card, is evidence of the applicant's status as a permanent resident with a right to live and work permanently in the United States. It also is evidence of the applicant's registration in accordance with U.S. immigration laws. A green card is also called Form I-551.

If the applicant's previous card was lost, stolen, mutilated or destroyed, please consult www.uscis.gov.