Immigrants to the U.S.
|Immigrating to the United States to live here permanently is an important, and complex decision. This section provides information to help foreign citizens desiring to permanently immigrate to determine the visas, requirements, and related materials they will need to apply to immigrate to the United States. For information on who can immigrate to the U.S., click on Visa Types for Immigrants . Click on the links below for information on visa forms, the Affidavit of Support, other requirements, and related materials for immigrants. In general, to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen relative(s), U.S. lawful permanent resident, or by a prospective employer, and be the beneficiary of an approved petition. Therefore, a first step is filing a petition.|
Petitions Required to be Filed in the U.S. - American citizens and lawful permanent resident sponsors residing in the United States file I-130 petitions at the USCIS
Service Center having jurisdiction over their place of U.S. residence.
Filing Petitions Abroad - Petitions, Form I-130, which can be filed abroad are limited. Petitions for immediate relative immigrant classifications (see announcement) can be filed abroad by American citizen petitioners who have been authorized to be continuously resident in their consular districts for at least the preceding six months, including members of the U.S. armed forces, emergency cases involving life and death or health and safety, and others determined to be in the national interest. Petitions are filed with USCIS abroad or at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate (when there is no USCIS presence). Refer to U.S. Embassy websites for more information.
Immigrant Visa Processing - The National Visa Center (NVC)
After the immigrant petition filed in the U.S. has been approved by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the petition is forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) for processing . NVC plays an important role in the next steps of the U.S. immigration process. NVC provides instructions to petitioners and sponsors, and receives from sponsors, the required Affidavit of Support forms, fees, other required documents, and much more. For numerically limited family preference petitions, NVC contacts the petitioner once the petition’s immigration wait nears end, and the priority date is about to come current .
Additional Resources - See Visa Information for Immigrants for more information about the Visa Bulletin, required vaccinations, DNA testing and more.