The United States offers immigrant visas to certain relatives of US citizens on an immediate basis, that is, not subject to numerical limitations. Only a United States citizen can petition for someone to enter as an immediate relative, and only for these specific relatives:
- A parent
- A spouse*
- A child of the US citizen, under 21 and unmarried
- A child of the spouse*, under 21 and unmarried
*If you have been married less than two years, we issue a Conditional Immediate Relative visa.
You must be at least 18 years old to file a petition for a spouse or child, or 21 years old to file for a parent.
Persons who do not fit this description should go to Family. If you are not sure what category you fit into, see the State Department’s explanation of Family Immigration. After reading that material, if you still have questions, email us at email@example.com .
In certain cases, the child of a US citizen may already be a citizen by right of birth. If you think this is the case with your child, please visit ACS webpage for more information. We cannot issue visas to American citizens.
Step 1: File a Petition
The U.S. citizen files a petition, and each immediate relative must have a separate petition – the I-130. You must include documents that show the relationship between you and the applicant, and provide English translations if necessary. There is more information at travel.state.gov and uscis.gov.
Step 2: Gather Documents and Prepare for the Interview
When the petition is approved by USCIS in the US, the USCIS will send you a notice of approval, a Form I-797. At the same time they will also forward the approved petition to the National Visa Center (NVC), which will prepare the case for the interview. NVC will contact both petitioner and applicant with requests for documentation; if NVC does not hear anything within one year, it will terminate the case. So please be sure to keep your contact information and the applicant’s contact information current.
For more information about NVC’s role in the visa process, including how to contact them, see http://travel.state.gov/content/visas/english/immigrate/nvc/nvc-contact-information.html.
Certain documents are required of any IV applicant; see the document checklist. Please note that Consulate Casablanca will require all the documents on this list. As of November 12, 2014, you can send photocopies to NVC rather than the originals, but you will still need to bring the original documents to the interview. NVC still requires the original Affidavit of Support, not a photocopy.
When NVC has collected all of the required documents and the Affidavit of Support, they will forward the case to Consulate Casablanca for the interview and adjudication. NVC schedules all immediate relative interviews, and will contact the applicant with the interview date and time.
Normal processing time for an immediate relative visa is several months, though this can vary greatly depending on the case. A case can be considered for expedited processing if there is some urgent condition which justifies it; however, all such requests must be balanced against our workflow and the urgent needs of other applicants. All expedite requests must be sent to NVCExpedite@state.gov, which will contact the Consulate. Decisions of the Consulate are final.
Please do NOT contact the Consulate directly to request expedited processing or to schedule an interview. All such requests must go through NVC.
About a week before the interview, you should go for the medical exam. See [here]. Each applicant must have a medical exam by one of our panel physicians.
Step 3: Come for the Interview
All applicants, regardless of age, must appear in person for an immigrant visa interview. Plan to arrive at the interview at the time scheduled, not before. Please be sure to read the Security Notice carefully, as you will not be allowed to bring certain items into the Consulate.
If you have a scheduled interview and you are unable to keep the appointment, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to request that it be rescheduled. Include the CSB number of the case as well as your name and date of birth, and the reason why you need to change the appointment.
For the interview, each applicant will need the following:
- The visa interview fee, payable in US dollars or Moroccan dirhams; see the Fee Information. You may this fee at the Cashier’s window in the Consulate waiting room, or may pay it at authorized BMCI bank. If you pay the fee at the bank, you must bring the receipt with you.
- A medical exam and other basic documents; see the Document Checklist.
- Documents that demonstrate the relationship; these include:
- For a parent, your birth certificate; if the parent’s name is different from that on the birth certificate, we will need to documents showing a legal change of name.
- For a spouse, the marriage certificate; also, if either you or your spouse has been previously married, we will need to see documents proving how the marriage(s) ended. A polygamous marriage does not qualify for a spousal visa. You may also want to bring photos, correspondence, or other evidence you think will help demonstrate the validity of the relationship.
- For a child, the child’s birth certificate may be sufficient.
- Additionally, documents such as a family book may be useful.
All documents must be originals. They must be in English or translated into English by a sworn and certified translator.
Consular officers are authorized to determine eligibility for a visa to the United States. The consular officer will decide whether the evidence, together with the personal interview, is sufficiently convincing, unconvincing, or requires more material. Unfavorable decisions are subject to review first by the Consulate supervisors, and then by USCIS, before they become final. If you are found ineligible, the consular officer will advise you if the law provides for a waiver.
Visa fees and other charges are not refundable.
Step 4: Going to the United States
You must pick up your passport with the visa, as well as the sealed immigration packet, in person at the street-side window outside the Consulate between 3:30 and 4:00 in the afternoon. If you designate someone else to pick up this material, please inform the consul at the time of the interview.
Visas are normally ready for pickup three business days after approval. However, there may be delays in processing for any number of reasons which may or may not have anything to do with your case.
You should never make final plans or financial commitments until and unless you actually have the visa packet in your personal possession. The Consulate will not be responsible for any financial or other damage caused by delays in processing of a visa.
You must arrive in the United States while your visa is valid. Visa validity is determined by the medical exam; normally, the visa expiration date is six months after you took the exam, but there are some medical conditions which require a shorter validity period. The consular officer will discuss this with you.
On arrival in the United States, the Department of Homeland Security will process your visa and will stamp your passport with a temporary residency permit while your I-551 (“green card”) is processed. They will also charge you a USCIS immigrant fee of US $165 for each applicant. For an explanation of this fee, see www.uscis.gov/immigrantfee.