Immigrant Visa Operational Update (October 27, 2021)
Immigrant visa interview appointments are continuing as scheduled. If you are unable to attend your interview, please go to the appointment scheduling system and select “I cannot attend my appointment” (K1 applicants should select “reschedule appointment”) under the “group actions” button. You will be able to reschedule your appointment for a later date. If no appointments are available, please continue to check the system. We will add more appointments as our capacity allows.
We remind applicants that they must practice social distancing and wear masks that cover both mouth and nose at all times in all areas of the Embassy, including while waiting outside the Embassy gate. Please see our security and access policy, which applies to all visa applicants here:
Please check your case status here using your case number (usually begins with BNS):https://ceac.state.gov/CEACStatTracker/Status.aspx
If your case is at the National Visa Center (NVC), you will receive notification of your interview date when one becomes available. If you have an emergency request for expedited processing or other questions about your case, please contact the NVC directly (contact information here).
If you are a K1 visa applicant and your case is at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, please continue to check the appointment scheduling page. We will add appointments as our capacity allows. (For K-1 visa applicants who are named plaintiffs in Milligan v. Pompeo, please see: https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/News/visas-news/k-visa-processing-update.html.)
If your case is at the U.S. Embassy in Buenos Aires, and you would like to request an expedited appointment due to an urgent unforeseen emergency situation, please contact us at buenosaires-IV@state.gov. For general updates on operating status, please continue to check this webpage and Embassy social media pages.
2022 Diversity Visa Applicants: After the Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) has reviewed your completed DS-260, you may receive an e-mail from KCC to let you know that an interview has been scheduled at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate you selected on your DS-260 form. Please do not contact the embassy to request an interview appointment as we do not schedule these appointments directly with applicants. All appointments are scheduled through the KCC. Please visit this pageFor information about visa services operating status, please see:
Message for Immigrant Visa Beneficiaries unable to travel to the United States due to COVID-19:
If you are the beneficiary of an Immigrant Visa and are concerned about travel restrictions due to COVID-19, we encourage you to review guidance from the Department of State and the Center for Disease Control before traveling to the United States. Please note that updates, recommendations, and travel restrictions change constantly. If you are unable to travel to the United States during the validity period of your immigrant visa, the IV unit may be able to reissue your visa when routine visa processing resumes. The decision to reissue unused visas will depend on individual circumstances and official travel restrictions. Also, visa reissuance will entail new medical exams and payment of all associated fees.
Returning Resident (SB1) Visas
If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident who has remained outside the United States for longer than one year, or beyond the validity period of a Re-entry Permit and wish to apply for an SB1 returning resident visa, please contact us atbuenosaires-IV@state.govto request an appointment to file form DS117. Your application will be reviewed in accordance with relevant U.S. immigration law to determine if you qualify for returning resident status. Please be aware that there may be a significant wait time for appointments. For more information, please see:https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/immigrate/returning-resident.html
General Immigrant Visa Information
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.