Immigrant Visas

On April 22, President Trump signed a proclamation suspending entry into the United States of certain immigrants who present risk to the U.S. labor market during the economic recovery following the COVID-19 outbreak.  The proclamation is effective at 11:59 p.m. EDT on April 23. It was continued by President Trump on June 23, and will expire on December 31, 2020, unless continued.  U.S. citizens, lawful permanent residents, and those holding valid immigrant visas on the effective date of the Proclamation, are not subject to the proclamation. No valid visas will be revoked under this Proclamation.  Routine visas services have been suspended at U.S. posts worldwide, but as resources allow, embassies and consulates will continue to provide emergency and mission critical visa services for applicants who are not subject to this presidential proclamation. The full text of the presidential proclamation is available on the White House website at:

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.

Message for Lawful Permanent Residents unable to return to the United States due to COVID-19:

If you are a Lawful Permanent Resident and your stay outside the U.S. is extended over a year due to COVID-19 concerns, you may apply for returning resident status when routine visa processing resumes. Bear in mind that your application will be reviewed in accordance with relevant U.S. immigration law to determine if you qualify for returning resident status. We also recommend that you review the most recent CDC guidance and travel restriction information.

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 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 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