Immigrant Visa Information

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Overview

In general, a person who wishes to immigrate to the United States must have a petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before applying for an immigrant visa. The petition is filed either by a qualified relative or a potential employer at a USCIS office in the United States. Specific information about filing immigrant petitions is available on the USCIS website. An individual with an approved petition and a priority date that is current for processing (when applicable) is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or K nonimmigrant visa.

Petitions

If the petitioner resides in a country such as Japan where USCIS does not have a public counter presence, the Form I-130 must be filed with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox Facility. Please visit USCIS website for detail.

If the petitioner resides in a country in which USCIS has a public counter presence, the Form I-130 may be filed directly with the USCIS field office or through the USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

USCIS Immigrant Fee

Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $220.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee to USCIS after receiving their visas and before traveling to the United States. The only exemptions to this fee are children adopted under the Orphan (IR-3s/IR-4s) or Hague Processes (IH-3s/IH-4s), Iraqi or Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. Government, returning residents (SB-1s), and those issued K visas.

For additional information on the fee and how to pay it, please visit the USCIS website: www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee.

Exceptional Filing

Beginning August 15, 2011, petitioners who believe their situation merits an exception may request the Consular Section to accept the filing. Each request will be evaluated individually.

A petitioner seeking to file a Form I-130 should contact the Consular Section to request consideration for exception and explain the circumstances in detail. The Consular Section will then relay the request for an exception to the USCIS field office with jurisdiction over the Embassy or Consulate. The determination of whether the case presents exceptional circumstances which warrant an exception to the general filing process will be made by USCIS. USCIS published guidance on the circumstances that may qualify as exceptional on their website.

Medical Requirements

All applicants must undergo a medical exam by an Embassy or Consulate-approved Panel Physician. Information about the medical exam can be found here. You will receive instructions about how to schedule an appointment for your medical exam from National Visa Center (NVC) or the Embassy/Consulate. Do not try to make an appointment before receiving these instructions.

Embassy/Consulate Appointment

If you have an interview date, you must appear at the Embassy or Consulate on the date of your appointment. You should arrive at the Embassy or Consulate fifteen minutes before your appointment. Please read about security restrictions at the Embassy or Consulate that describe what you can and cannot bring with you to your interview. You should bring your appointment letter and the documents required for your visa class.