For Visa Applicants in the K-1, K-3, IR-1/CR-1, and F2A categories:
Before your visa interview at the U.S. Embassy, please read the pamphlet below. It will tell you about your rights and protections, as well as resources available to you, if you need help when you come to the United States. During your visa interview, the consular officer will summarize the information in the pamphlet. After reading the pamphlet, keep it handy for quick reference later.
Persons wishing to reside permanently in the United States will need an immigrant visa. The most common categories of Immigrant Visas (IV) are:
- Family-based (certain relatives of U.S. citizens and legal permanent residents);
- Diversity Visas for winners of the DV Lottery.
A U.S. citizen may file an IV petition for the following relatives: husband, wife, married and unmarried children. A U.S. citizen who is 21 or older can also file an IV petition for the following relatives: parents, brothers, and sisters. U.S. citizen grandparents, aunts, uncles, in-laws and cousins cannot sponsor a relative for immigration. For additional information, see the Visa Office website or the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website.
Immediate relative beneficiaries are scheduled for interviews as soon as possible after the Embassy receives the approved petition from the National Visa Center. The wait for an interview may take up to four to six weeks.
The sponsoring employer in the U.S. must file a petition. The petitioner must demonstrate that there are no workers in the U.S. to perform the work, and that the applicant has the necessary training and experience to perform the job.
Diversity Visa Program
The congressionally mandated Diversity Immigrant Visa Program is administered on an annual basis by the Department of State to provide for a new class of immigrants known as diversity visa immigrants (DV immigrants). Up to 50,000 permanent resident visas are given out annually to persons from countries with low immigration rates to the United States.
The annual DV program makes permanent residence visas available to persons meeting simple, but strict, eligibility requirements. Applicants for Diversity Visas are chosen by a computer-generated random lottery drawing. The visas are distributed among six geographic regions with a greater number of visas going to regions with lower rates of immigration, and with no visas going to citizens of countries sending more than 50,000 immigrants to the U.S. in the past five years. For more information and to sign up for our DV e-mail list, please click on Diversity Visas on the left side of this screen.
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.
For more information regarding any of the immigrant visa categories, please consult the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website at www.uscis.gov . See IV Priority Dates for visa waiting periods.