Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of United States immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). You can learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas on usvisas.state.gov.
To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visas, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process. Once you have completed those steps, review the instructions given to you by the National Visa Center (NVC), along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.
- Provide a completed Form I-130 and a detailed explanation of why the case merits an exception and include any paperwork in support of this.
- The petitioner must provide appropriate evidence that they have permission to reside in the consular district, or if they are a member of the U.S. military stationed in the country, a copy of the petitioner’s orders.
- Each request will be evaluated individually
After you have completed the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process , including paying the necessary fees and submitting the required immigrant visa application form (DS-260), Affidavit of Support, and supporting documents to the National Visa Center (NVC), NVC will review your file for completeness. Once your case becomes qualified for an interview, NVC will work with us to schedule an interview appointment for you.
You can learn more about the interview process
Some visa applications require further administrative processing , which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case. You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.
If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers
After the Interview
If your visa has been approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you. Carefully review After the Interview to learn what to do when you receive your visa, entering the United States, paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee, and other important information.