Frequently Asked Questions about Immigrant Visas

General Information

  1. What is the purpose of this site?
  2. Is there a requirement to provide social media identifiers when applying for a U.S. Visa?

Immigrant Visa Information

  1. What is an immigrant visa?
  2. A petition was filed on my behalf to be able to apply for an immigrant visa but is still pending with the USCIS, how can I check the status on the pending petition?
  3. How much does it cost to apply for an immigrant visa?

Immigrant Visa Interview Appointment

  1. My case is at the National Visa Center (NVC), how can I get in touch with them?
  2. How will I know when my interview is scheduled?
  3. What should I bring to the interview?
  4. I had my interview and was refused under Section 221(g) for additional documentation or information. I am ready to submit it – how do I do that? Do I need to come to the Embassy again?

Visa Document Packets and the Modernized Immigrant Visa

  1. I recently had my immigrant visa interview at the embassy/consulate and received my passport and visa. However, I did not receive a packet of documents in a sealed envelope to take with me on the plane to the United States. My lawyer/petitioner/friends are saying that I can’t fly without one. What should I do?
  2. I don’t remember if I submitted my civil and financial documents electronically or by mail. Is there another way to determine if my visa was issued under the paperless process?
  3. I know other people that have received immigrant visas and they had to hand-carry a sealed envelope to the U.S. Port of Entry. Why is the process different for them?

Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card Holders)

  1. I have a Green Card that is going to expire and I have not received a new one. How can I re-enter the United States? Am I out of status?
  2. I have a Green Card, but I have been outside of the United States for over a year. How do I receive permission to re-enter the United States?

General Information

  1. What is the purpose of this site?

    Please visit the following information pages to learn more about the services provided on this website for Immigrant Visa applicants and U.S. Legal Permanent Residents:

  2. Is there a requirement to provide social media identifiers when applying for a U.S. Visa?

    On May 31, 2019, the Department of State updated its immigrant and nonimmigrant visa application forms to request additional information, including social media identifiers, from most U.S. visa applicants worldwide. For more information, please see the Department of State’s responses to Frequently Asked Questions.

Immigrant Visa Information

  1. What is an immigrant visa?

    An immigrant visa is a document issued by the U.S. Department of State that allows you to travel to the United States to apply for admission as a Legal Permanent Resident (LPR). Further information can be found at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

  2. A petition was filed on my behalf to be able to apply for an immigrant visa but is still pending with the USCIS, how can I check the status on the pending petition?

    You can check the status of your application at check the status of a filed immigrant petition at the USCIS website.

    This website and accompanying call center services cannot provide status on the filed petition at USCIS.

  3. How much does it cost to apply for an immigrant visa?

    The fees vary based on the type of visa. For further information, see https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/fees/fees-visa-services.html.

Immigrant Visa Interview Appointment

  1. My case is at the National Visa Center (NVC), how can I get in touch with them?

    You can contact the National Visa Center via e-mail at https://travel.state.gov/content/travel/en/us-visas/visa-information-resources/ask-nvc.html. Be sure to include your case number(s) and the applicant’s full given name and surname in your message.

  2. How will I know when my interview is scheduled?

    The National Visa Center (NVC), KCC, or Consular Section will send notification of the date, time, and location of your interview to you, your petitioner, and your attorney when the interview is scheduled.

  3. What should I bring to the interview?

    Please follow the instruction letter/email provided to you by the NVC, KCC, or Consular Section that will help you prepare for the interview.

  4. I had my interview and was refused under Section 221(g) for additional documentation or information. I am ready to submit it – how do I do that? Do I need to come to the Embassy again?

    The letter given to you by the Consular Officer at the interview will instruct you how to complete your application. Please follow the instructions in the letter.

Visa Document Packets and the Modernized Immigrant Visa

  1. I recently had my immigrant visa interview at the embassy/consulate and received my passport and visa. However, I did not receive a packet of documents in a sealed envelope to take with me on the plane to the United States. My lawyer/petitioner/friends are saying that I can’t fly without one. What should I do?

    The Department of State has begun electronic processing of some immigrant visa applications. If either the National Visa Center or the embassy/consulate which conducted your visa interview required that you electronically submit your civil and financial supporting documents via the CEAC portal, then your visa was issued under the new electronic process. Unless specifically informed by the embassy/consulate which interviewed you and issued the visa, you are NOT required to hand-carry a packet of documents in a sealed envelope to present at the U.S. Port of Entry. Be assured that your documents were transmitted electronically from the Department of State to the Department of Homeland Security, Customs and Border Protection (DHS/CBP), the agency that inspects all immigrants entering into the country. When you arrive at Immigration Control at the U.S. Port of Entry, the CBP officers will have access to all of the information required to process your entry into the United States. This new electronic process will streamline the processing of your immigrant visa application and entry to the United States.

  2. I don’t remember if I submitted my civil and financial documents electronically or by mail. Is there another way to determine if my visa was issued under the paperless process?

    Yes. Look at your visa. If you do not need a packet of papers, your visa will have an annotation by the bottom right corner of your picture that says "IV DOCS in CCD".

  3. I know other people that have received immigrant visas and they had to hand-carry a sealed envelope to the U.S. Port of Entry. Why is the process different for them?

    The electronic processing of some immigrant visa applications began in 2018. To convert all the different types of immigrant visas to electronic processing will take several years. Until the process is complete, some immigrant visa holders will still need to hand-carry a packet of documents in a sealed envelope to the U.S. Port of Entry. These individuals will not have the annotation “IV DOCS in CCD” printed in the lower right hand corner of their visa.

Legal Permanent Resident (Green Card Holders)

  1. I have a Green Card that is going to expire and I have not received a new one. How can I re-enter the United States? Am I out of status?

    No. You are not out of status. However, you must apply for a boarding foil for entry to the United States.

    For additional information please see http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/returning-residents.html.

  2. I have a Green Card, but I have been outside of the United States for over a year. How do I receive permission to re-enter the United States?

    You will need to apply for a Returning Resident Visa that will allow you to be admitted into the United States.

    For additional information please see http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/en/immigrate/returning-residents.html.