Note to Iranian Applicants
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The U.S. Embassy in Abu Dhabi is the only post in UAE processing immigrant visas for Iranian nationals resident in Iran. Other Iranian immigrant processing posts are Ankara, Vienna, Abu Dhabi, Frankfurt and Naples. A petition must have been filed for the applicant in the U.S. and been assigned to Abu Dhabi by the National Visa Center before an appointment will be scheduled.
The information below is designed to help prevent some common problems faced by Iranian applicants. It is not a listing of visa requirements. Those requirements can be found elsewhere on this website.
Time in Abu Dhabi: For an initial interview, an applicant needs to have a medical exam in UAE and have visa photos taken prior to the interview. If documents are missing or an administrative process is pending, the visa will take longer to process and it is normally recommended the applicant return to Iran to wait.
All applicants aged 14 and over must be finger scanned. If a child turns 14 years of age while waiting for a visa, the child must also return to the Embassy for finger scanning before receiving an immigrant visa.
Administrative Processes: Most applicants from Iran require some type of administrative process before traveling to the U.S. Every attempt is made to obtain the proper administrative process before the interview. By filling out Forms DS-230 Part I and II accurately and completely, the process will be quicker. The applicant's entire employment history is needed, not just the past ten years. Responses such as "retired" or "self-employed" without an explanation of where the applicant worked will lead to delays in visa issuance. In addition, dates of every trip (not just the year) to the United States must be provided, not just the last three trips. If the applicant has stayed more than six months in the U.S. on a tourist visa, the applicant must bring to the interview copies of letters from Department of Homeland Security granting an extension of stay. Administrative processes are completed within six months or more and our office does not have any control over them.
Missing Documents: The National Visa Center collects documents for all files assigned to Abu Dhabi, conducts administrative processes, schedules appointments (for all files except K visas), and sends the files at the end of each month for the next month. Some files take an extended amount of time to process at NVC. Some of the applicant's documents may have expired by the time of the immigrant visa interview. By keeping a copy of all documents sent to NVC, a quick look at them before the interview will show which ones may have expired. Police certificates and documents related to military service are NOT required from Iran.
Rescheduling Interviews: Rescheduling of interviews is possible by email. Family members who are not already part of one file are encouraged to come for their interviews at the same time. Every effort should be made to have children come for interviews well before their 21st birthday. The Child Status Protection Act protects some children from "aging out," but does not apply in all cases. The best way to guarantee issuance for a child is to get it well before the child turns 21.
Iranian Family Law: Iranian family law, based on sharia, is very different from U.S. family law, and can lead to complications in the IV process.
The U.S. government does recognize proxy marriages, but only if the marriage can be proved to be consummated (i.e., the couple were at the same place at the same time).
Revocable divorces are not recognized by the United States. If an applicant received a revocable divorce in Iran, it must be finalized, written as final on the divorce decree, and registered in the shenasname.
Applicants with multiple wives MUST divorce all but one before going to the U.S. If a visa is being issued for the purpose of marriage, all other marriages must have been terminated before the current marriage.
Adopting a child in Iran is a long, complicated process. Contact the Embassy via email before coming for an adoption visa.
Children's Issues: If a one-time-only exit stamp can be obtained for the child, contact the Embassy before the interview to make sure the file is complete before the interview in order to avoid a possibly lengthy wait in UAE.
Reminder: IR-5 visas (parents of U.S. Citizens) are for individuals only. Separate files and documents are required for each parent. Children under 21 of the IR-5 applicants do not qualify as part of a parent's file.