Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Immigrant Visas

Announcing the Worldwide Deployment of the DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application

Effective September 1, 2013, the DS-260 Immigrant Visa Electronic Application and the DS-261 (Choice of Address and Agent) will replace the paper-based DS-230 Application for Immigrant Visa and Alien Registration (parts I and II) and the DS-3032 (Choice of Address and Agent).

Beneficiaries submitting new cases that arrive at the National Visa Center (NVC) from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) on or after September 1 will be instructed to complete the DS-260/261 in lieu of the DS-230/3032.  If a beneficiary submits a DS-230, NVC will instruct him or her to re-submit a DS-260.

NVC will not require DS-260s for beneficiaries of cases already in process at NVC on September 1 if:  1) the case has already been documentarily qualified and sent to scheduling, or 2) NVC receives a single submission of documents that makes a case documentarily qualified.  For all other cases where NVC has occasion to send a "checklist" of missing documents after September 1, 2013, NVC will instruct petitioners/agents/beneficiaries to submit the DS-260 along with those missing documents, even if a DS-230 was already on file.

To access the online DS-260 form, click the following link:  http://www.travel.state.gov/visa/immigrants/info/info_5164.html 

Overview

Immigrant visas are for people who plan to live, work or study and remain permanently in the United States. U.S. immigration law provides for the issuance of immigrant visas in four general categories: immediate relatives, family-based, employment-based, and the Diversity Immigrant Visa Program (also known as the "green card" lottery). An immigrant visa holder who successfully enters the U.S. will receive a permanent resident card during the first year of residency.  In most Immigrant visa cases, you can only receive an immigrant visa if someone files an immigrant visa petition on your behalf.  You cannot petition for your own immigrant visa except for winners of the Diversity Visa Lottery.

U.S. immigration law assumes that beneficiaries of Immigrant Visas will live permanently in the United States.

There are three steps involved in applying for an immigrant visa:

Step 1
Filing an immigrant visa petition with the Department of Homeland Security - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).

Step 2
Processing of the immigrant visa by the National Visa Center (NVC) in New Hampshire. In Diversity Visa Lottery cases it is at Kentucky Consular Center (KCC) in Kentucky.

Step 3
Immigrant visa interview.

Notice: Technical Problems with Visa System

The Department of State Bureau of Consular Affairs is currently experiencing technical problems with our visa system.  We are operating at a significantly reduced capacity and will be until we clear the document backlog.

This issue is worldwide and is not specific to any particular country, citizenship document, or visa category.

We are working urgently to correct the problem and expect our system to be fully operational again soon.  We will be posting updates to Travel.State.Gov as more information becomes available.

Contact Information

  • The Immigrant Visa Unit is located at:

    U.S. Embassy Consular Section
    Big Ring Road
    Ulaanbaatar, Mongolia

    If you have questions regarding the status of an immigrant visa petition, please send an email to UlaanbaatarIV@state.gov.

Useful links