Visa Types

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Overview

Immigrant visas are for people who plan to live, work or study and remain permanently in the United States. U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in four general categories: immediate relatives, family-based, employment-based, and the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the "green card" lottery).

U.S. immigration law assumes that beneficiaries of Immigrant Visas will live permanently in the United States.

There are three steps involved in applying for an immigrant visa:

Step 1
Filing an immigrant visa petition with the Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) or U.S. Embassy Seoul.

Consular officers at the U.S. Embassy Seoul may accept filing of the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative under two circumstances. First, petitions filed by qualified U.S. military service members for any immediate relative case, when the active duty military service member is stationed at a military base in Korea.  This exception does not apply to service members assigned to non-military bases, such as embassies or civilian institutions. Second, U.S. Embassy Seoul may accept filing of the Form I-130 for petitioners who believe they have exceptional situations that would merit an exception from filing to the USCIS. Please visit our Embassy website for more information and to make petition appointments.

Step 2
The processing of the immigrant visa either by the National Visa Center in New Hampshire or the Immigrant Visa Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul.

Step 3
The immigrant visa interview

Some useful links for Immigrant Visa types include:

Additional Resources

Petitioners and beneficiaries may find these additional websites useful during the immigrant visa process: