Immigrant Visa Information

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In general, a person who wishes to immigrate to the United States must have a petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before applying for an immigrant visa. The petition is filed either by a qualified relative or a potential employer at a USCIS office in the United States. Specific information about filing immigrant petitions is available on the USCIS website. An individual with an approved petition and a priority date that is current for processing (when applicable) is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or K nonimmigrant visa.


U.S. citizens and current permanent residents wanting to petition for immigrant classification for their parent, spouse, or minor child must file an I-130 petition with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). Select here to determine the correct filing location for a family based petition.  For additional information about how to file a Form I-130 with the USCIS Chicago lockbox, please visit the USCIS website at  or contact USCIS by telephone in the U.S. at 1-800-375-5283.

USCIS Immigrant Fee

If you are immigrating to the United States as a lawful permanent resident, you must pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee online unless you meet one of the exemptions . This fee is not related to the immigrant visa application fees collected by Department of State.

Select USCIS Immigrant Fee  to go to the USCIS Website to learn more.

Exceptional Filing

Beginning August 15, 2011, petitioners who believe their situation merits an exception may request the Consular Section to accept the filing. Each request will be evaluated individually.

A petitioner seeking to file a Form I-130 should contact the Consular Section to request consideration for exception and explain the circumstances in detail. The Consular Section will then relay the request for an exception to the USCIS field office with jurisdiction over the U.S. Embassy or Consulate. The determination of whether the case presents exceptional circumstances which warrant an exception to the general filing process will be made by USCIS. USCIS will publish guidance on the circumstances that may qualify as exceptional on their website.

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 Embassy. Do not try to make an appointment before receiving these instructions

U.S. Embassy or Consulate Appointment

  • COVID-19 travel restrictions and operational constraints have caused a significant backlog at embassies around the world. We are following a tiered approach to triage immigrant visa applications. However, applicants in all categories should expect longer than usual wait times.
  • At this time, we are only processing immigrant visas for citizens and residents of Finland. We regret that we cannot accept your case transfer to Finland.

You may choose to keep your existing appointment set by NVC or reschedule that interview appointment by accessing this link. The first step of the the interview rescheduling process will involve submitting a request for appointment through your profile. That step is completed when the system prompts you with the message “Your request to schedule an appointment has been received and will be reviewed. You will receive an email once your request is approved". As soon as the US consulate approves it, you will be notified notified via email to log back into your profile to access the calendar and choose an appointment date and time.

If you have an interview date, you must appear at the U.S. Embassy or 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.