How to apply

You cannot begin an application for an immigrant visa at The U.S. Consulate General Rio de Janeiro, or other Posts. The process for all immigrant visas, other than the Diversity Visa Lottery process, begins with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)/U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS). The family member or employer in the U.S., through whom you wish to qualify, must begin the process by filing an I-130 petition or I-129F Fiancé petition, or the I-140 employment petition with the DHS/USCIS office in the United States, as per the instructions on the forms.

See further visa information below, or on the Department of State’s travel website:

After August 14, 2011 Consular posts abroad are no longer authorized to accept I-130 petitions for spouses/immediate relatives, for immigrant visa classification, from American citizens residing abroad. ALL Petitions must be filed in the U.S. at the USCIS Chicago Lock Box. Please check the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service website at for full instructions.

Only in extreme emergencies, with prior approval of our Regional USCIS Office, can Petitions be filed at the Consulate General.  E-mail the Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro for further advice:

Applicants who believe they are entitled to immigrant status based on a relationship to a United States citizen or lawful resident alien, should request that relative to file an I-130 petition with the U.S. Citizenship & Immigration Service (USCIS) in the United States, as per the instructions which accompany the I-130 petition.

For detailed information please see the family immigration information at USCIS website. To obtain the Petition form see the form I-130 page.

Once USCIS approves the petition, it is forwarded it to the National Visa Center (NVC) for preprocessing the visa application. NVC provides detailed instructions to the petitioner and the applicant and eventually (once all instructions have been complied with and all fees have been paid), NVC will send an Appointment Letter notifying the visa applicant of the date and time of the interview. The U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro cannot advice you on when NVC might schedule your interview. Once NVC has scheduled the interview, the case file is forwarded to the U.S. Consulate General in Rio de Janeiro.  Additional information regarding the visa application process by NVC is available on the NVC website.

More details of the Immigrant Visa Process can be found on

For electronic cases: NVC will provide instructions to the petitioner on how to log-in to the Consular Electronic Application Center or CEAC.