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Applying for an Immigrant Visa

In general, any applicant for an immigrant visa must be the beneficiary of an approved petition. Certain applicants such as priority workers, investors, certain special immigrants, and diversity immigrants can petition on their own behalf. All other intending immigrants must have a relative or potential employer in the United States petition for them. 

Other Important Information

  • Documents Required in Support of a Visa Application: All applicants must submit certain personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, police certificates, and other civil documents, as well as evidence of financial support The visa officer will inform visa applicants of the documents needed as their applications are processed. 
  • US Domicile of US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) Petitioner:
    US immigration regulations require that the US citizen or Legal Permanent Resident (LPR) who filed a petition for a family member to immigrate to the US must either reside in the US or be able to prove they intend to return to a residence in the US (either before their family member enters the US, or at the same time). If the US citizen or LPR petitioner is not residing in the US when the family member comes to AIT for their immigrant visa interview, the petitioner will be ineligible to submit the required I-864 or I-134 affidavits of support, a joint sponsor will not be accepted, and the family member’s immigrant visa will not be issued.
  • Medical Examinations and Vaccination Requirements: Before the issuance of an immigrant visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination. The examination will be conducted by a doctor designated by the visa officer. In addition to the medical examination, every applicant must also meet immunization requirements. Costs for such examinations and immunizations must be borne by the applicant. 
  • Visa Fees: The cost of each immigrant visa application is listed under Consular Tariff Item No. 32. The Schedules of Fees are posted in all U.S. Visa Offices. Fees must be paid by, or on the behalf of, each intending immigrant regardless of age and are not refundable. Local currency equivalents are acceptable. Fees should not be sent to the visa office unless specifically requested. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services charges additional fees for filing petitions.

    To view the updated Schedule of Fees for Immigrant visas, please visit the State Department's Website and the USCIS website for USCIS fees.  
  • Miscellaneous: Since no advance assurances can be given that a visa will be issued, applicants are advised not to make any final travel arrangements, not to dispose of their property, and not to give up their jobs until visas have been issued to them. An immigrant visa is valid for 6 months from date of issuance. 

 (Posted on 2016/12/28,IV)