Immigrant Visa Information

On this page:


Overview

Immigrant visas are for people who plan to live, work, or study and remain permanently in the United States. U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in four general categories: immediate relatives, family-based, employment-based, and the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the "green card" lottery).
An overview of all immigrant visa types can be found here.

U.S. immigration law assumes that beneficiaries of Immigrant Visas will live permanently in the United States.
There are three steps involved in applying for an immigrant visa:

Step 1 


Filing an immigrant visa petition with the Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

U.S. Consulate Frankfurt may accept filing of the Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative under two circumstances. First, petitions filed by qualified U.S. military service members for any immediate relative case, when the active duty military service member is stationed at a military base in Germany. This exception does not apply to service members assigned to non-military bases, such as embassies or civilian institutions. Second, U.S. Consulate Frankfurt may accept filing of the Form I-130 for petitioners who believe they have exceptional situations that would merit an exception from filing by mail to the USCIS Dallas Lockbox. USCIS published guidance on circumstances that may qualify as exceptional.

If you believe that your situation merits an exception, please email FrnUSCISinquiries@state.gov to request an exception and explain your circumstances in detail. If your request to file an I-130 petition with U.S. Consulate General Frankfurt is not authorized by USCIS, then you must file the petition with the USCIS Dallas Lockbox.

Step 2

The processing of the immigrant visa either by the National Visa Center (NVC) or the U.S. Consulate in Frankfurt.

Step 3

The immigrant visa interview.

Some useful links for immigrant visa types include:

Additional Resources

Petitioners and beneficiaries may find these additional websites useful during the immigrant visa process:

USCIS Immigrant Fee

Effective December 23, 2016, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a US$ 220.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States.  Only prospective adoptive parents whose child(ren) is/are entering the United States under either the Orphan or Hague Process, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. government, returning residents, and those issued K visas are exempt from the new fee.  The below USCIS website has more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, if there are further questions: www.USCIS.gov/immigrantfee.

Medical Requirements

All applicants must undergo a medical exam by an Embassy-approved Panel Physician. Information about the medical exam can be found here. You will receive instructions about how to schedule an appointment for your medical exam from NVC or the Consulate. Do not try to make an appointment before receiving these instructions

U.S. Consulate Appointment

If you have an interview date, you must appear at the Consulate on the date and time of your appointment. Please read about security restrictions at the U.S. Embassy or Consulate that describes what you can and cannot bring with you to your interview. You should bring your appointment letter and the documents required for your visa class.