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Immigrant Visas

Completing the Immigrant Visa Process

Important Change:  The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi is no longer accepting applications for waivers of Immigrant Visa ineligibilities.  All waiver applications must now be sent directly to USCIS in the United States. Individuals abroad who have applied for certain visas and have been found ineligible by a U.S. Consular Officer, will be able to mail requests to waive certain grounds of inadmissibility directly to a U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Lockbox facility. This change affects where individuals abroad, who have been found inadmissible for an immigrant visa or a non-immigrant K or V visa, must send their waiver applications.  For more information, please contact USCIS directly at:

In order to complete the process for obtaining an immigrant visa to the United States, all applicants must complete and provide the required forms and documents, pay the required fees, and appear for a consular interview.

In the UAE, immigrant visas are processed only at the Embassy in Abu Dhabi. The Consulate General in Dubai does not process immigrant visas. Immigrant visas entitle the recipients to permanent resident status in the United States. Permanent residents, or "Green Card" holders, may live and work in the U.S. They may also eventually "naturalize" to become U.S. citizens, if they so desire. To contact the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy, you may click here

For general information on Immigrant Visas & Fiancé(e) Visas, please refer to the Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (formerly INS) website.

Please note that effective August 15, 2011, petitioners residing overseas
will no longer be able to routinely file Forms I-130, Petitions for Alien Relative, with U.S. Embassies andConsulates except in locations where U.S. Citizenshipand Immigration Services (USCIS) has a public counter
presence within the Embassy or Consulate.  Petitionersresiding overseas in countries where USCIS does not have a public counter presence will be required, starting August 15, 2011, to file their Forms I-130 by mail with the USCIS Chicago lockbox.  U.S. Embassies and Consulates that do not have a USCIS presence will only be able to accept and process Forms I-130 in exceptional circumstances, as outlined here.

 When should I appear for my immigrant visa interview?

The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi receives applications for immigrant and diversity visas on an appointment basis only. Applicants for immigrant or diversity visas will receive notification of an appointment at the U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi via a letter from the National Visa Center or the Kentucky Consular Center. The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi also accepts petitions from U.S. citizens resident in the UAE on a limited basis and will notify immigrant visa applicants of their appointments.

 For further information on immigrant visa interview appointments, please refer to our Immigrant Visa Interview Appointments page on this website.

What is the fee?

For full information on immigrant visa fee, please check out the fees and reciprocity tables on the State Department Travel Website.

What documents are required for the Immigrant Visa Application?

The following documents are required to complete processing for any immigrant visa and must be presented to U.S. Embassy consular staff during the interview:

  1. The visa applicant's original passport and two (2) photocopies;
  2. An ORIGINAL marriage certificate plus two (2) photocopies of all pages and an English translation plus two (2) photocopies of the translation;
  3. An ORIGINAL divorce certificate or decree plus two (2) photocopies of all pages and an English translation plus two (2) photocopies of the translation;
  4. The visa applicant's birth certificate plus one (1) photocopy of all pages and an English translation and one (1) photocopy of the translation;
  5. One (1) color photograph of the petitioner plus four (4) color photographs of the visa applicant, taken within 30 days of the date of this petition. The photos must be 5cm x 5cm glossy, un-retouched, not mounted and on a white background.
  6. A police clearance certificate from the countries in which the visa applicant lived for more than one year after the age of 16. Please note this is needed for the UAE but no police certificate is needed for Iran.
  7. A medical examination from one of the U.S. Embassy-approved panel physicians. Please refer to the Medical Examination Webpage on this site for further information;
  8. Proof of the petitioner's financial support for the visa applicant and the petitioner's domicile in the United States, including Form I-864, Affidavit of Support, U.S. Federal Tax Returns for the three (3) most recent years, and proof of employment;
  9. The required fees mentioned above; and
  10. The required, fully completed I-130 and DS-230 parts I and II forms.