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If you wish to enter the United States and reside there indefinitely, you will require an immigrant visa. This is true regardless of whether or not you intend to work.
For information on how you may qualify for immigration through the sponsorship of a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident relative, please click on the relevant links.
No provision exists under U.S. visa law to qualify for immigration to the United States on the basis of retirement.Grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins cannot file immigrant visa petitions on behalf of a relative.
If you are the spouse of a U.S. citizen and an I-130 has been filed but not approved on your behalf with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States, you may be eligible to apply for a K-3 visa. Children under under the age of 21 with no claim to citizenship, may apply for a K-4 visa. The visa will allow you to travel to the United States to await the approval of the immigrant visa petition.
Your spouse is required to file a petition, Form I-129F on your behalf with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. If the petition has not already been filed you will find further information here.
The approved petition will be forwarded to the National Visa Center. If at the time NVC receive the I-129F petition they have not received the I-130 petition, your application for a K visa will be forwarded to the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy for processing. Please click here for more information.
NOTE:- We cannot guarantee that a visa will be issued to you by a specific date. We recommend, therefore, that you do not make final travel plans until your application has been processed and you have received your passport containing a valid visa.
If you are the unmarried son or daughter (aged 21 or over) of a U.S. citizen; married son or daughter of a U.S citizen or brother or sister of a U.S. citizen you may apply for a visa in either the family based third or fourth preference category on the basis of an immigrant visa petition filed by your relative with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
This is an overview of the steps required to apply for a visa. Keep reading our website for more detailed information, including how to book your medical exam, a list of documents required on the day of your visa interview and what to expect during your interview.
Petition approved by United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in London
When to follow these steps: You should only follow the below step-by-step instructions if you have received confirmation that your case file has been received by Embassy London’s Immigrant Visa Unit. If more than 8 weeks have passed since your petition was approved and you have not received this confirmation, please contact us through our contact form to confirm the full name and UK mailing address of the visa applicant, the full name of the petitioner, and the date of petition approval.
If your petition was approved by USCIS in the United States and your application was subsequently processed by NVC, they will contact you with your interview appointment date.
You will be required to provide all original documents on the day of the visa interview appointment. For a list of required documents click here. Do not send any documents to the Immigrant Visa Unit before your interview.
If your application was processed by NVC and forwarded to the Embassy before you completed the application form, then you should input the invoice number provided to you by NVC.
When to follow these steps: you should only follow the below step-by-step instructions after NVC has contacted you to notify you of your visa interview date.
Can’t attend the appointment date scheduled for you by NVC? You are first required to register the assigned appointment date through the Visa Appointment Service website. You must then contact us through our contact form in order to cancel the appointment. Please be aware that you will only be able to select a new date after the scheduled interview date has passed.
If your case has been forwarded to the Embassy for urgent humanitarian reasons, NVC will not schedule your visa interview. Once you have received a letter confirming your case has been received by Embassy London’s Immigrant Visa Unit, please follow the ‘Petition approved by USCIS London’ instructions above to prepare for and book your visa interview appointment.
Important If your interview date was assigned by NVC and you cannot attend, you are still required to register your interview through the Visa Appointment Service website. You must then contact us through our contact form in order to cancel the appointment. You will only be able to select a new date after the scheduled interview date has passed
All applicants, regardless of age, are required to complete a medical examination performed by an Embassy approved physician in London prior to their visa interview. We cannot accept medicals performed by any other physician.
If your application is being processed by the National Visa Center, while they will schedule your interview, you must schedule the medical examination before you attend the Embassy otherwise your application will be refused pending receipt of the report.
When scheduling the appointment, please note that it takes 5 workdays for the results of the medical examination to be couriered to the Embassy.
If you find that you are unable to attend a medical examination prior to your visa interview, you should still attend your visa interview. Please schedule the earliest available medical examination and at the time of the visa interview inform the consular officer the date of your examination.
On the day of the medical examination, the Embassy panel physician will be required to verify that you have met the vaccination requirement, or that it is medically inappropriate for you to receive them.
Please note:- If you are applying for a K visa, you will not be required to meet the vaccination requirements at the time of your visa interview. You will, however, be required to meet the requirement at the time you apply for an adjustment of status with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services in the United States.
At the time you attend the medical examination, you will be required to provide the following:
You may schedule an appointment by telephoning 020 7486 7822 Monday to Friday, from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. You must quote your case number (begins with the first three letters of the post – London is LND) when making your call. Appointments are scheduled on a first come, first served basis.
Interviews are by appointment only
You will not be admitted more than 15 minutes prior to the time shown and arriving more than 30 minutes after the scheduled appointment time may result in the cancellation of your appointment. All immigrant visa applicants, including children, are required to visit the Embassy in person for a formal visa interview.
You can expect to be at the Embassy for approximately 1.5 hours. Make sure you have completed Step 4. You will be required to bring your appointment letter and courier confirmation page to the visa interview.
Your passport will be returned to you by the Embassy approved courier service. If your application was processed by the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy you are required to register for courier service at the time you schedule the appointment for the visa interview. If your application was processed by the National Visa Center and they have scheduled your appointment, you must register with courier as soon as you receive the appointment letter and before you attend the Embassy.
If you were advised on the day of your interview that your application is successful, you should allow approximately 7 to 10 working days for your application to be processed.
If additional information or documentation was required in your case, you must allow additional time. All times are given for guidance only as processing varies in every case. We cannot guarantee that a visa will be issued by a specific date, so please do not make final travel or wedding plans or give up employment or accommodation, until you have received your passport containing a valid visa.
As soon as visa processing is complete and delivery arrangements have been made, the courier will contact you by email and/or text with delivery tracking information.
Your passport will be returned to you in a plastic courier envelope.
If your courier envelope contains a large white envelope, known as a visa package, it is important that you do not open the visa package. It should only be opened by immigration officials at the U.S. Port of Entry. If your visa is annotated with the phrase “IV Docs in CCD,” you will not receive an immigrant visa package. That is because you scanned your supporting documents as part of the visa process.
The validity period of an immigrant and fiancé(e) visa is based on the medical examination, the maximum validity of which is six months from the date on which it is performed. You will be advised further at your interview. K-3 visas are usually valid for travel for two years from the date of issuance. A K-4 visa is valid for two years or until the day before the holder’s twenty-first birthday, whichever is shorter. If you are unable to travel to the United States before the visa expires, you should return the visa to the Immigrant Visa Unit with a covering letter explaining why you have been unable to travel.
Please do not return the visa until it has expired. Your case will be reviewed by a consular officer and if you are able to show, to the satisfaction of the consular officer, that the reason for not traveling was due to circumstances beyond your control, a new visa will be issued. You will be required to pay new visa processing and issuance fees and may be required to attend a further medical examination. Further information will be provided to you once your case has been reviewed.
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