US Immigrant Visas

There are two main types of US visa including Non-immigrant visas (tourist visa, student visa, temporary worker visa…) and Immigrant visas. To travel or work in US in a definite period of time, you just need to apply for a Non-immigrant visa but if you want to live and work permanently in the United States you must apply for a US Immigrant visa.


Immigrant visas holders can stay in the U.S permanently. Whereas with a U.S non-immigrant visa, the person is required to return to their home country when their visa expires, an immigrant visa does not expire. It allows you to live, work, and study in the U.S or engage in any activity you like.


Just like the U.S non-immigrant visas, there are also several U.S immigrant visa types. They can take on different categories depending on how you get the permanent visa. There are two major categories of immigrant visas:

  • Immediate Relative and Family Sponsored
  • Employer Sponsored


Foreign citizens who want to live permanently in the United States must first obtain an immigrant visa. This is the first step to becoming a lawful permanent resident.  To apply an immigrant visa, you must follow a long and complex process. It often undergo these steps:

Step 1: Pay a Petition

Step 2: Begin National Visa Center Processing. Choose an agent and pay fees

Step 3:   Collect and submit forms and documents to the National Visa Center.

Step 4: Interview


There are many specific types of US immigration visas, each type must use different form for application. Below will be some of the most popular forms that people have to fill out during the U.S immigration application process.

Form I-129F, Petition for Alien Fiance

This form is sent out by a U.S citizen who is engaged to a person from a foreign country. The couple is already engaged and they have filed their documents for the fiancé to come to the U.S permanently. You can download this form here.

Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative

This is used for family sponsored immigration visas and is only for spouses, parents, or children and does not apply for other extended family members. You can fill online this form here.

Form I-140, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker

This form is used by employers who want to hire a person from a foreign country as an employee. You can download this form here.

Form I-526, Immigrant Petition by Alien Entrepreneur

This form is used by those who want to invest in the U.S economy and get a visa that way. You can download this form here.

Form I-800A, Determination on Suitability to Adopt a Child from a Convention Country

This form is for people who want to adopt children from foreign countries. One of the steps in the adopting process includes filing this form so that they can get inspected by the U.S government. You can download this form here.

Form DS-260, Immigrant Visa Electronic Application

This form is the one that all those who are applying for U.S immigration must fill and submit to the U.S Embassy. You can access the DS-260 from the Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC) website, by going to Immigrant and clicking on “Submit Visa Application and Civil Documents,” or on the website of the U.S. embassy or consulate where you will apply.


Effective December 23, 2016, all individuals issued Immigrant visas overseas must pay a $220.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States.