What is an Immigrant Visa?
An immigrant visa is a document issued by a U.S. consular officer abroad that allows you to travel to the United States and apply for admission as a legal permanent resident (LPR).
Persons seeking to live and work permanently in the United States should apply for an immigrant visa. In most cases, the applicant must first have either an approved immigrant petition or a selected entry in the Diversity Visa Program. There are three common methods by which a person may seek to immigrate to the United States:
- Family-based Immigration -- including Fiancé(e)s of U.S. citizens
- Employment-based Immigration
- The Diversity Visa Program (the "Visa Lottery")
Please click here to see a complete list of types of Immigrant Visas.
The Immigrant Visa Unit at the U.S. Embassy in Nassau processes visas for persons who are residents of The Bahamas or the Turks and Caicos Islands. Visa interview appointments are set by the National Visa Center once the petition has been approved and the case is ready for processing.
Once you are admitted as an LPR, you generally have the right to live and work in the United States permanently. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security will mail your permanent resident card (often called a “green card”) to your new address in the United States, usually within three months of your entry into the United States.
More information about immigrant visas is available on the Department's website.
Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $165.00 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. For more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, or for any further questions, please click here to visit the USCIS website.
Immigrant Visa Forms
• I-130 Petition for Alien Relative
• DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration
• I-864P Poverty Guidelines
• I-864 Affidavit of Support
• I-864A Contract Between Sponsor and Household Member
• I-864W Intending Immigrant's Affidavit of Support Exemption
• I-864EZ Affidavit of Support
• I-601 Application for Waiver of Grounds of Inadmissibility
• I-212 Application for Permission to Reapply for Admission into the U.S. After Deportation or Removal
• Diversity Visa Instructions
• General information on starting an application for an immigrant visa to live in the United States.
All downloadable documents on this page are provided in PDF format. To view PDFs you must have a copy of Adobe Acrobat Reader. You may download a free version by clicking the link above.