An immigrant visa is required of anyone who wishes to enter the United States to reside there permanently, whether or not that person plans to seek employment 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 Diversity Immigrant Visa (known as the "green card" lottery). Unfortunately, no provision exists under U.S. visa law to qualify for immigration on the basis of retirement to the United States. Immigration is primarily family or employment based.
Foreign nationals who seek permanent residence in the United States and receive an immigrant visa will need to pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee beginning February 1, 2013.
Processing times vary depending on your relationship to the petitioner and the required documentation. Upon entry into the United States, an immigrant visa holder is processed for a Permanent Resident Card (PRC) commonly known as the Green Card.
Services provided include:
- Immigrant Visa Application Interviews and Issuance;
- Letters of Transportation for lost or misplaced PRC/Green Cards;
- Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status (I-407);
Please note: Petitions for Alien Relatives, including spouses, (I-130) must be filed with the Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S.
Learn more about the rights and responsibilities of lawful permanent residents in our new pamphlet entitled
"Welcome to the United States: A Guide for New Immigrants" (PDF 1.56 MB)