Immigrant Visas

To apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen seeking to immigrate generally must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident immediate relative(s), or prospective U.S. employer, and have an approved petition before applying for an immigrant visa. The sponsor begins the process by filing a petition on the foreign citizen’s behalf with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories on usvisas.state.gov to learn about the different types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program. Then, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process on usvisas.state.gov to begin applying for an immigrant visa.

Once USCIS has approved your petition and you have completed pre-processing with the National Visa Center (NVC), or if you have filed the petition overseas because of an exceptional circumstance, review the instructions given to you by the NVC or by the Consular Section along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.

Immigrant Visas