Documents for Visa Application

The petitioner/sponsor must provide the appropriate Affidavit of Support form for the intending immigrant family member in this process, through which the sponsor guarantees to the U.S. government that the intending immigrant will not become a public charge in the United States.

All applicants must submit certain personal documents such as passports, birth certificates, police certificates, and other civil documents, as well as evidence that they will not become public charges in the United States. [»] The Reciprocity Tables for each country will list the preferred documents that will be required. 

Medical Examinations

Before the issuance of an immigrant visa, every applicant, regardless of age, must undergo a medical examination.  The examination must be conducted by a doctor designated by U.S. Consulate or USCIS.  Examination costs must be borne by the applicant, in addition to the visa fees.

Numerical Limitations

Whenever there are more qualified applicants for a category than there are available numbers, the category will be considered oversubscribed, and immigrant visas will be issued in the chronological order in which the petitions were filed until the numerical limit for the category is reached.  The filing date of a petition becomes the applicant's priority date.  Immigrant visas cannot be issued until an applicant's priority date is reached.  In certain heavily oversubscribed categories, there may be a waiting period of several years before a priority date is reached. Check the [»] State Department’s Visa Bulletin for the latest priority dates.


Since no advance assurances can be given that a visa will be issued, applicants are advised not to make any final travel arrangements, not to dispose of their property, and not to give up their jobs until visas have been issued to them.  An immigrant visa can be valid for six months from issuance date.

With few exceptions, a person born in the United States has a claim to U.S. citizenship.  Persons born in countries other than the U.S. may have a claim, under United States law, to U.S. nationality if either parent was:

  • Born or naturalized in the U.S., or
  • A U.S. citizen at the applicant's birth

Any applicant believing he or she may have a claim to United States citizenship should not apply for a visa until his or her citizenship has been determined by the consular office.

How to Apply for a Social Security Number Card

If you are the potential employer of a non-citizen who plans to immigrate to the United States, you can help that potential employee learn how to apply for a social security number card.  To learn more about this process, visit the website for the Social Security Administration.