Immigrant Visa

How to Apply for an Immigrant Visa

5 mins read

Immigrating to the United States is a complex process, but reuniting with family makes the journey worthwhile. At the Law Office of Lina Baroudi, a trusted family and immigration lawyer, we understand the challenges and are here to guide you every step of the way.

This guide will walk you through the key steps of applying for an immigrant visa.

What is an Immigrant Visa?

An immigrant visa is a document that allows a foreign citizen to legally immigrate and reside permanently in the United States. Unlike a nonimmigrant visa, which is temporary, an immigrant visa paves the way for lawful permanent residency (a Green Card) and eventually U.S. citizenship.

Types of Immigrant Work Visas

If you wish to work in the U.S., you may be eligible for an employment-based immigrant visa. There are five main categories, each catering to different professions and skill sets:

  1. Priority Workers (exceptional ability, outstanding professors/researchers, and multinational executives/managers)
  2. Professionals with Advanced Degrees
  3. Skilled Workers, Professionals, and Other Workers
  4. Special Immigrants (religious workers, employees of U.S. foreign service, and more)
  5. Immigrant Investors

Certain categories require a job offer and sponsorship from a U.S. employer, while others may not.

Step 1: Submit a Petition

The first step is for your relative or employer (the petitioner) to file an immigrant petition on your behalf. U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents submit Form I-130, while employers file Form I-140. These petitions can be filed with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) from inside or outside the United States.

Step 2: NVC Processing and Fee Payment

Once USCIS approves your petition, your case moves to the National Visa Center (NVC) for further processing. At this stage, you’ll need to pay required fees and submit supporting documents.

Step 3: Affidavit of Support and Financial Documentation

As part of the process, you’ll need to submit an Affidavit of Support (Form I-864) demonstrating you have adequate financial means to support yourself in the U.S. You may also be asked to provide additional financial documentation, such as bank statements or tax returns.

Step 4: Online Application and Civil Documents

Next, you’ll complete the online immigrant visa application (DS-260) and submit civil documents like birth certificates and police clearances.

Step 5: Document Submission and Interview Preparation

After gathering all required documents, you’ll submit them to the NVC for review. Once your documents are processed, you’ll be scheduled for an interview at the U.S. embassy or consulate in your home country. Proper preparation is key for a successful interview.

Step 6: Applicant Interview

During the visa interview, a consular officer will review your application and supporting documents. Be prepared to answer questions about your background, qualifications, and reasons for immigrating to the U.S.

Step 7: After the Interview

If approved, you’ll receive your immigrant visa and can make final plans to travel to the United States and begin your new life as a lawful permanent resident. If denied, you may have the option to appeal or refile your petition.

Throughout this intricate process, having an experienced immigration attorney by your side can make a world of difference. We at the Law Office of Lina Baroudi have extensive experience guiding clients through the immigrant visa process. With our deep knowledge of immigration law and compassionate approach, we’ll ensure your application is thorough and accurate, maximizing your chances of success.

Trusted Guidance from Award-Winning Immigration Attorneys

The immigrant visa process is intricate, but the guidance of an experienced immigration attorney can make all the difference. At the Law Office of Lina Baroudi, our team has helped countless individuals and families navigate this journey with confidence, earning us over 80 five-star reviews on Google.

With over a decade of experience, Lina Baroudi’s personal connection to immigrant rights fuels her passion and commitment to achieving success for every client. 

Contact the Law Office of Lina Baroudi at (408) 300-2655 or visit to book your consultation and embark on this transformative journey with confidence and support every step of the way.

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