USA Immigrant Visa Application Process

Immigrant Visas

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

Step 1: A petitioner or a sponsor (relative) in the U.S files a petition form I-130 with the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Services (USCIS).This petition is to be filed by the US Citizen sponsor in the United States at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Forms and instructions are available on the USCIS website at

What happens once the petitioner is filed the petition?
  • Post approvals of petition by USCIS receive a Notice of Approval, Form I-797C. you can track case in the approval tracker for the status using the receipt number.
  • 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 recognized 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.
After arriving in the USA the immigrant has an option to file for adjustment of status to permanent resident by using Form I-485 if the petitioner (the sponsor) is already in USA with the legal status. Application to register Permanent Residence or to adjust status

Step 2: Get Immigrant Visa once the petition is approved and go for consular processing at a US consulate in home country and get the immigrant visa.

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: The Government 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

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.


NRIOL.COM, the premier online community since 1997 for the Indian immigrant community provides a range of resourceful services for immigrants and visitors in America.

Contact Us

NRI Online Pvt. Ltd.

Phone : +91-80-41101026


Estd. 1997 © Copyright NRI Online Pvt. Ltd. All rights reserved worldwide.