Visa Types for Immigrants

Step 1 - In general, to be eligible 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 filed with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). For petition information visit the USCIS website. Learn about the different processes for the major immigrant categories, which are:

Diversity Visa Program - Visas provided are drawn from countries with low rates of immigration to the U.S. Unlike other immigrant types, Diversity Visas (DV) do not require a U.S. sponsor, and therefore a petition is not needed.

Step 2 - After the immigrant petition has been approved (excluding DV applicants) by USCIS, then the next step is preliminary processing for a visa with the Department of State, National Visa Center. Visit Immigrant Visa Processing – the National Visa Center for information related to:

  • Affidavit of Support
  • Required applicant documents (i.e. birth certificates, police reports, marriage/divorce certificates, etc.)
  • Medical Exam/Panel physician information
  • Interviews