My office receives many inquiries from constituents who are seeking assistance with their visa petitions.

In general, there are two broad categories of visas, immigrant and non-immigrant. Non-immigrant visas include visitor visas, student visas, humanitarian visas (for medical treatment or similar emergencies), and temporary employment visas.

Immigrant Visa Petitions:

Filing for an immigrant visa is a two-step process. The first step is for the U.S. Citizen or Legal Permanent resident to complete the appropriate application and submit it to USCIS for review and adjudication. Once approved, the file is transferred to the National Visa Center/Department of State for further processing.

In accordance with the United States Immigration and Nationality Act, the number of immigrant visas that can be issued at any one time is strictly limited for some family members. Because the demand for immigrant visas far exceeds the availability, the Department of State has created a waiting list and petitions are processed on a first-in, first-out basis determined by the date received by the State Department, which is also referred to as the priority date. The State Department publishes a Visa Bulletin each month which provides the current priority date being processed. This is a lengthy process that can take months or even years depending on the country of citizenship of the immigrant and the relationship between the petitioner and the beneficiary.

Non-Immigrant Visa Petitions:

The United States Consulate or Embassy in the applicant’s home country has sole jurisdiction in approving or denying non-immigrant visa petitions. One of the main reasons that non-immigrant visas are denied is because in the opinion of the interviewing officer, the applicant was unable to demonstrate significant enough ties to his or her homeland which would evidence an intent to return to his or her home country after their stay in the U.S. Denials based on this reason are not subject to appeal or reconsideration.

My office is always available to assist you with issues that you may be experiencing with your visa petition. If you cannot find the answer to your questions through these links or would like my office to contact USCIS or the Department of State on your behalf, please complete my Privacy Release Form and email it to: My staff will be happy to provide you with all possible assistance.

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