USA Immigrant Visa Application Process

Immigrant Visas

The following procedures apply to immediate relative (IR) and family.

Step 1: A sponsor in the U.S. (the petitioner) files a petition with the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS). Forms and instructions are available on the USCIS website at

Step 2: Once USCIS approves the petition, they will send the petitioner a Notice of Approval, Form I-797. USCIS then forwards the approved petition to the State Department's National Visa Center(NVC) for further processing. NVC sends an Instruction Package to the applicant, petitioner, or their legal representative. NVC will also pre-screen the Affidavit of Support Form I-864 and collect IV application fees directly from the petitioner in the U.S. Because U.S. law limits the number of immigrant visas that can be issued each year in certain categories, these cases will remain in storage at NVC until their priority dates are current. NVC has an automated recorded message system which can answer inquiries 24 hours a day, seven days a week (603-334-0700). Please note that NVC only has the information on petitions it has already received. If CIS file or receipt numbers entered are not recongnized its most likely that the petition has not yet received by the USCIS. Written inquiries, change of address information, and requests to upgrade petitions due to the petitioner's naturalization should be sent to: The National Visa Center, 32 Rochester Avenue, Portsmouth, NH 03801-2909.

Step 3: The NVC will notify the applicant when the priority date is nearly current and it will forward the case to the Consular Section at the office.

Step 4: The pre interview processing and schedule of an interview appointment will be completed after out office receives the physical case file from NVC. The process can take from 2 to 3 months from the time of receiving the case file. Until the priority date is current, interview dates are not scheduled for family preference (F).

Step 5: Our office sends an Appointment Package to the applicant by mail, including instructions for obtaining the required medical examination and a list of other documents required at the interview. The applicant must complete the medical examination and prepare all of the required documents before the visa interview.

Step 6: The applicant appears at the Consulate General for a visa interview on the scheduled date. We do not permit the petitioner to be present at the immigrant visa interview. Our officers are skilled to conduct interviews in Vietnamese. If the beneficiary is still unable to understand the questions posed to him/her, we provide a local employee who will translate for the If the applicant is found to be eligible for a visa at the time of the interview, the visa will normally be issued on the next business day.

Re-scheduling appointments:

If an applicant fails to appear on the scheduled date or would like to re-schedule an upcoming appointment, he or she should send us a written Request ( click here for the form) for a new appointment. The Request for a new appointment is also available at our office for free of charge. The second appointment will usually be three months later after we receive the Request.


Section 221(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act states that immigrant visa applications lacking required documents must be denied until such time as those documents are submitted and found to be sufficient. If, for any reason, the applicant is not eligible for a visa at the time of the interview, the applicant will receive an explanation in writing and a request for the specific documents still required, if any.

Applicants refused under Section 221(g) who are specifically requested to submit more documents, may submit the additional information either via registered mail or in person at the Consulate between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday, except holidays. The applicant should include the blue or green refusal sheet asking for additional information.


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