U.S. Immigrant Visas
What is an immigrant visa?
An immigrant visa entitles you to take up permanent residence in the United States. It is based upon the presumption that you are going to make the United States your principal place of residence for the foreseeable future. An immigrant visa is required of anyone – with fa few exceptions as described below - who wishes to enter the United States to reside there permanently, whether or not that person plans to seek employment in the United States.
If you are going to the United States on a temporary work assignment or to study, even if such stay is for several years, you should not seek an immigrant visa. Please consult the nonimmigrant visa pages for more information about other visa categories.
U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in the following categories:
- Immediate relatives of U.S. citizens
- Other family-based immigrants
- Children adopted by U.S. citizens
- Employment-based immigrants
- Diversity Visas or “Green card” Lottery winners (DV visas)
- Returning residents (SB-1 visa)
U.S. immigration law also provides for the issuance of two special non-immigrant visa categories for applicants who intend to immigrate:
Additional information about the U.S. immigrant visa categories is available on the U.S. Department of state website: http://travel.state.gov/.
If you have carefully read all immigration-related information on this website and still require further assistance, please submit us a written inquiry by e-mail or schedule an appointment with the Consular Section.
Guidance for immigrant and K category visa applicants with approved petitions
To learn about documents that immigrant visa applicants are required to prepare and provide at the time of their interview, please see Guidance for visa applicants with approved petitions.