Immigrant Visas


Generally, there are two types of visas in which an individual can use to enter into the United States.  An immigrant visa is used if the individual will be remaining permanently in the United States after entry.  A non-immigrant visa is used if an individual is not immigrating to the United States but will instead be in the United States for a designated period of time.

Visas for Immigrants

Typically, to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a non-citizen must be sponsored by a United States citizen relative, United States lawful permanent resident, or by a prospective employer, and be the beneficiary of an approved petition filed with United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The purpose of these visas is for immigrants to travel and live permanently in the United States.  There are some immigrant visa categories that do not require a sponsoring relative or employer.

When an individual applies for a visa, regardless if it is an immigrant visa or non-immigrant visa, that individual must be admissible to the United States.  There are certain individuals who are inadmissible and are ineligible to receive visas and cannot be admitted to the United States.  Some of these inadmissibility grounds include:

1)     Health related grounds

2)     Criminal and related grounds

3)     Security and related grounds

4)     Public charge

5)     Labor certification and qualifications for certain immigrants

6)     Illegal entrants and immigration violators

7)     Documentation requirements

8)     Ineligible for citizenship

9)     Aliens previously removed

10)   Miscellaneous other reasons

**Waivers may be available for some inadmissibility areas.**

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