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Family-Based Immigration

General Information

Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories  on the Department of State’s website to learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas, as well as other types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program.

To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visa, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process on the Department of State’s website.  Once you have completed those steps, review the instructions given to you by the National Visa Center (NVC), along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.

How do I schedule an appointment?

Interviews are done by appointment only.  The National Visa Center (NVC) schedules interviews for all immigrant visa applicants except for K-1 (fiancé/fiancée), and SB-1 (returning resident) visa applications.

NVC cannot schedule interviews until your case becomes current.  Because the availability of some visas are limited by the U.S. Congress, some visa categories move faster than others.  For information on the different processing dates for each visa category, please visit the visa bulletin.