An immigrant visa is required of anyone who wishes to enter the United States to reside there permanently, whether or not that person plans to seek employment in the United States. U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in four general categories: immediate relative, family based, employment based, and the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program, known as the "green card" lottery.
There are three steps involved in applying for an immigrant visa:
- Step 1: Filing an immigrant visa petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. How to file an Immigrant Visa Petition.
- Step 2: The processing of the immigrant visa.
- Step 3: The immigrant visa interview and medical examination.
To find out more about this process, please click on the relevant tabs on the left-hand Navigation bar, and / or click on the hyperlink: travel.state.gov.
Notice: Access to the U.S. Embassy Immigrant Visa Unit will only be granted to individuals with same day appointments. An appointment letter for the day you want to visit the U.S. Embassy is required.
New USCIS Immigrant Fee
Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $165.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States. Only prospective adoptive parents whose child(ren) is/are entering the United States under either the Orphan or Hague Process, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. government, returning residents, and those issued K visas are exempt from the new fee. The below USCIS website has more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, if there are further questions: www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee
How to Check on your Case Status
You may use the Department of State's new website https://ceac.state.gov/CEAC/ to check on the status of your immigrant visa case.
- Applicants who arrive for their scheduled interview without their medical report will not be allowed into the Consulate for an interview. They will need to reschedule their appointment. For more information about the medical exams, please click on: medical exams.