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Immigrant Visas

Immigrant Visa Information

An immigrant visa (IV) 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:

Except for Diversity Visas, all IVs require a petition to be filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services.  U.S. citizens residing in Sri Lanka or Maldives may no longer file the I-130 “Petition for Alien Relative” at U.S. Embassy Colombo.  Click here for more information about how to file an IV petition. 

See IV Priority Dates for petition waiting periods.  Visa interviews are scheduled as soon as possible after the Embassy receives the approved petition from the National Visa Center.  The wait for an interview may take four to six weeks.

The following websites may also be helpful for more information on types of visas, entry procedures and consular services: 


While every effort has been made to ensure the quality and acuuracy of the visa information contained on this website, all content is subject to change without notice.

Every application for a visa is based on its own merits. Our website is only able to provide general information regarding visa types and application processes. Visa application instructions clearly state that there is no guarantee that you will be issued a visa for travel to the United States if you should choose to apply.

The Consular Section handles all matters related to American Citizen Services and visas for Sri Lanka and the Maldives. For information on American Citizen Services go to

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