Immigrant Visa Categories
Subject to the Annual Numerical Limitation
Immigrant (permanent) visas are available to qualified individuals wishing to live permanently or indefinitely in the U.S. All immigrant categories, except for “immediate relatives” and “special immigrants” (described below), are numerically limited and subject to annual per-country quotas, often resulting in long waiting periods between the filing of an immigrant visa petition and issuance of an immigrant visa.
All applicants for an immigrant visa must demonstrate to the satisfaction of a U.S. consular officer that they do not fall within any of the categories of inadmissible persons listed in the Immigration and Nationality Act. If determined to be ineligible for an immigrant visa, U.S. law permits a waiver of inadmissibility in many, but not all, circumstances.