What Is the Process for Immigrating to the United States?


Quick Answer

The process for immigrating to the United States must begin with a request for an immigrant visa, according to the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. Once a request for an immigrant visa is submitted it is reviewed by the National Visa Center, which then sends the necessary documents to an applicant's embassy or consulate.

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Full Answer

Applicants for an immigrant visa then have to submit financial documents, any requested supporting documents and any required fees. This information is also processed by the National Visa Center before being submitted to US embassies and consulates. The embassy or consulate associated with an applicant's home country is then responsible for conducting interviews to determine eligibility before approving or denying an immigrant visa application.

Most immigrant visas applications are submitted based on either family or employment visas, states the US Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs. For family visas either the immigrant's family members or the immigrant themselves can file the application. Employment visas are designed for employers that are looking to sponsor specific skilled workers who are expected to be hired into permanent jobs. However, visas are also available for a fiance of a US citizen, a child adopted abroad by parents who are US citizens and for special circumstances that are outlined by federal law.

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