Immigrant Visas: Family-Based Immigration

Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories  on to learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas, as well as other types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program.

To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visa, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process on  Once you have completed those steps, review the instructions given to you by the National Visa Center (NVC), along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.

Please be advised that the lengthy suspension of services and need to maintain physical distance among our staff and applicants has led to greatly reduced appointment capacity, which has created a significant backlog of immigrant visa applicants awaiting an interview.  This is a global issue, so we appreciate your patience and understanding as we continue to work to reduce this backlog.  Please see the video in the sidebar for more information about the IV interview backlog and prioritization guidance.