Individuals who wish to obtain lawful permanent resident status in the U.S. generally must obtain immigrant visas at the U.S. consulate or U.S. embassy where they live. Most immigrant visa applications begin when a family member who is a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident submits a petition on behalf of the intending immigrant to the U. S. Citizenship & Immigration Services (USCIS, formerly INS) in the United States or at an embassy abroad. It is also possible for a U.S. employer to file a petition for a foreign national that the employer wishes to hire. Click here to learn more about Employment Based Visas. Nationals from some countries may be able to obtain an immigrant visa through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program.
Once your petition has been approved by USCIS, it is forwarded to the Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) if the petition was filed in the United States. After the National Visa Center finishes initial processing of your petition, it is forwarded to the embassy or consulate of jurisdiction, (where the beneficiary resides). Immediate Relative petitions can be filed at an overseas USCIS office, if the petitioner has resided in that country for a minimum of six months.
When the NVC forwards your petition to our office, you will receive a letter informing you of the transfer. NVC will also schedule your visa interview at the U.S. Consulate General in Mumbai. As soon as your interview is scheduled, you will receive an appointment letter and additional instructions (the minimum amount of time is normally six to eight weeks but may be longer if your priority date is not current). If your petition was filed overseas, you will receive an instruction letter as soon as we receive your petition. You will be eligible for a visa interview after you follow the guidance in the letter.