Immigrant Visas/ Diversity Lottery
Welcome, Americans and Immigrant Visa Applicants!
Begining June 4, 2012, ineligible IV applicants (and nomimmigrant K and V visa applicants) for whom a waiver is available must file form I-601 and I-212 by mailing to a USCIS Lockbox. For information please visit USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/
Important Announcement Regarding I-130 Petitions for Alien Relatives
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 and Consulates except in locations where U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has a public counter presence within the Embassy or Consulate. Petitioners residing overseas in countries where USCIS does not have a public counter presence will be required 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 below.
Petitioners residing overseas who wish to file a Form I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, may do so as follows:
- If the petitioner resides in a country in which USCIS has a public counter presence, the Form I-130 may be filed directly with the USCIS field office (see instructions below) or through the USCIS Chicago Lockbox at one of the below addresses.
- If the petitioner resides in a country where USCIS does not have a public counter presence, the Form I-130 must be filed with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox at one of the addresses below, unless the petitioner requests and is granted an exception based on one of the criteria described below:
USCIS Chicago Lockbox addresses for regular mail deliveries: USCIS P.O. Box 804625 Chicago, IL 60680-4107
USCIS Chicago Lockbox address for express mail and courier deliveries: USCIS Attn: I-130 131 South Dearborn-3rd Floor Chicago, IL 60603-5517
For additional information about how to file a Form I- 130 with the USCIS Chicago lockbox, please see the USCIS website at http://www.uscis.gov/ or contact USCIS by phone at 1- 800-375-5283.
Filing at USCIS Overseas field offices:
Petitioners residing in a country where USCIS has a field office, with a public counter, may choose to file the Form I-130 either through the Chicago lockbox or at the USCIS field office. Petitioners should contact the USCIS field office with any questions regarding the filing of petitions. For more information on where USCIS has overseas field offices and contact information, please Visit: http://www.uscis.gov/international.
Exceptional Filing at U.S. Embassies or Consulates without a USCIS Field Office:
Petitioners, who do not reside in a country with a USCIS field office, but who believe that their situation merits an exception, may request an exception to allow the Consular Section at the Embassy or Consulate to accept the filing. Each request for an exception will be evaluated individually.
A petitioner seeking to file a Form I-130 at an Embassy or Consulate where USCIS does not have a presence should contact the Consular Section to request consideration of the request for exception and explain the circumstances in detail. The Consular Section will then relay the request for an exception to the USCIS field office with jurisdiction over the Embassy or Consulate. USCIS field office at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow has jurisdiction over the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi.
The determination of whether the case presents exceptional circumstances that warrant an exception to the general filing process will be made by USCIS. USCIS will be publishing guidance on the circumstances that may qualify as exceptional on their website
Immigrant Visa Processing in Tbilisi
The Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. Embassy Tbilisi issues visas for permanent residence in the United States, based on certain categories of family relationship or employment-based immigrant visa petitions, to residents of Georgia and Azerbaijan. Immigrant visas are processed based on petitions filed by U.S. citizens or employers and which have been approved by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (DHS/USCIS). Third Country National applications are only accepted if the beneficiary is a resident of Georgia or Azerbaijan.
How to File An Immigrant Visa Petition
For details on how to file with DHS, please visit the DHS website at http://www.dhs.gov and click on “Immigration.” Once your I-130 petition is approved by DHS/USCIS, it will be forwarded to the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for document collection and appointment scheduling. As soon as the case is ready for processing, it will be forwarded to the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.
Immigrant Visa Interviews in Tbilisi
The Consular Section conducts immigrant visa interviews once a week only, on Wednesdays (excepting American Federal and Georgian holidays). All interview appointments are scheduled by the National Visa Center.
General Steps For Immigrant Visa Processing
- The petitions are first filed by U.S. citizens or employers through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
- After the petition is approved, it is sent to the National Visa Center in Portsmouth, New Hampshire for document collection and appointment scheduling. When the file is complete, it is forwarded to the consular section of the U.S. Embassy in Tbilisi, Georgia.
- Applicants attend their interview on the scheduled day and time. If the visa is approved, it will be delivered to Georgian residents within ten business days via the TNT courier service. Applicants from Azerbaijan will need to return the following business day to pick up their visas.
- Reconsiderations (221(g) temporary refusals). When a beneficiary receives a temporary 221(g) visa refusal, this usually means that he/she was asked to provide additional information. The consular officer will provide the applicant written instructions on what is needed to complete the application and how to submit it.
Please direct your inquiries to the Call Center:
Telephone: Callers in Georgia (995 32) 2471 160
Callers in the United States 703-988-7103
Types of Immigrant Visas
Immediate Relatives (no numerical limit):
- IR-1 Spouse of a U.S. Citizen
- IR-2 Minor Child of a U.S. Citizen
- IH-3 Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. Citizen
- IH-4 Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. Citizen
- IR-5 Parent of a U.S. Citizen
NOTE: Immediate relatives each require their own petition. Derivative applicants (spouses, minor children) are NOT allowed to travel with the beneficiary of an IR petition.
Numerically Limited Categories (waiting period of several years in some cases):
- F-1 Unmarried adult sons and daughters of U.S. citizens
- F-2 Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of Lawful Permanent Residents (LPRs)
- F-3 Married sons and daughters of U.S. Citizens
- F-4 Brothers and Sisters of U.S. Citizens
- Employment Based Immigrants with approved petitions filed by a company or organization in the U.S.
- Diversity Immigrants with a winning lottery entry (please click here for more information about this category)
NOTE: Derivative applicants (spouse and minor children) ARE allowed to travel on the petition of a beneficiary of the above categories.
CA FACEBOOK Q&A sessions
- On the First Friday of each month at 10:00 EDT, an expert from the Visa Office, in collaboration with the New Media Unit in CA/P, answers questions via the Consular Affairs Facebook Page http://www.Facebook.com/TravelGov Upcoming topics include Information for Diversity Visa Selectees (May 3).
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