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Family Based Visas

Filing a Petition

Immigrant visa petitioners must make sure that the NVC has your current mailing address. You can contact the NVC by calling (603) 334-0700 or at  For additional contact information, please visit:

The immigrant visa process begins when an American citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident files a petition with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security. U.S. citizens may file petitions for their fiancé(e), children, spouses, parents, and siblings. Lawful Permanent Residents may file petitions for their unmarried children and spouses. 

For additional information regarding the petition process, please follow the USCIS links below.

Once the Petition is Approved

Approved petitions are forwarded to the Department of State's National Visa Center (NVC) in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, by USCIS. The petition undergoes additional processing at NVC, including payment of the fees, completion of the affidavit of support, and collection of most documents.

Once NVC has received all of the required documents and fees from the petitioner and the priority date has become current, the file is forwarded to the U.S. Embassy. The applicant or petitioner can check the Department of State’s Visa Bulletin to determine if the petition is current.

If the petition is current (the priority date is earlier than the cutoff date in the bulletin), the applicant should begin gathering the documents listed below, which are required for the consular interview.

Applicants that are not documentarily ready will not be issued an immigrant visa. All documents presented must be original.

The National Visa Center schedules immigrant visa interview appointments for the U.S. Embassy in Havana. The petitioner will receive a letter with the date of the beneficiary's interview appointment. In K1 fiancé cases, applicants will receive instructions regarding scheduling their appointments. K1 and K2 visas will schedule their appointments through the website Applicants will also be able to schedule appointments by telephone.  The telephone number in the United States is (786) 408-5995.

Each applicant must present the following documents: (Documents marked with a * must be brought by the applicant to the interview. All other documents will be provided to NVC before the interview.)

  1. Valid passport
  2. FORMS:

    For applicants applying for an immigrant visa:

    DS-260 form:  See Online DS-260 guidance for more information about filling out this form. 

    For applicants applying for a fiancé (K1 or K2) visa:

    DS-160 form.  To complete the DS-160 form, please begin here.  Applicants who have already had their interview with a consular officer do NOT need to submit a new form unless otherwise instructed by a consular officer.
  3. Photos, (2) color photos on white background of the beneficiary facing the camera and measuring 50 mm x 50 mm taken within the last six months.
  4. Legalized Birth certificate.
  5. Current legalized divorce and/or death certificates showing the end of all prior marriages. 
  6. Criminal Records from Cuba, and also from any other country where the beneficiary has lived for more than one year since age 16.*
  7. Medical examination.* Beneficiaries need to check the list of hospitals where they can have their medical examination. On the day of their medical appointment, they should bring this list along with the letter from the National Visa Center indicating their case number.
  8. Please note that K visas do not require form I-864, but may bring the I-134 Affidavit of Support as proof of the petitioner’s economic solvency. 
  9. Relationship evidence. This may include photos, letters, phone records, joint bills, or any other evidence that demonstrates that the relationship is bona fide. 

The Visa Interview

On the day of their interview, applicants should arrive at the park located near the U.S. Embassy at Calzada and K streets  half an hour before the appointment time with the original documentation listed above.  Only the applicant will be admitted to the U.S. Embassy, except when the applicant is a minor or is disabled and requires assistance; also, if present, the petitioner will be admitted for IR1, F2A and K1 interviews. 

Once all of the paperwork has been collected and any remaining fees have been paid, the applicant will be interviewed by a Consular Officer. If there is documentation missing, the Consular Officer will provide a letter explaining what is missing.  This letter serves as the applicant’s pass to return to the U.S. Embassy to present the missing information.  If a case is missing documentation the applicant has a maximum of one year to return with the requested documentation.  After one year, the case automatically closes.  Note: Diversity visa cases close automatically on Sept. 30, or when no more visas are available.

Some cases are subject to additional administrative processing.  If so, the officer will indicate this on the letter.  This additional administrative processing can take several weeks or up to a year or more to complete.  It is impossible to determine how long a particular case will take to bring to conclusion.  In these cases, the applicant will be contacted by telephone or telegram to continue the visa process once the administrative processing is complete.

If the applicant is ineligible for the visa category, the Consular Officer will give the applicant a written explanation of the section of the law under which the visa is being refused, and the next steps – if any – in connection with the case.

If the application is approved, the applicant will receive a pass to return to pick up the visa in one week. 

Cases in which Additional Documents are Requested

Applicants whose case is pending additional documents should return with those documents as soon as possible.  Please arrive at the park located on Calzada and K streets at 11:30am, Monday thru Thursday.  At that time, Embassy personnel will make an announcement, “entregar los documentos” or those submitting documents. Embassy personnel will verify the applicant’s pass/documents and direct them towards the U.S. Embassy building.  Once the applicant reaches the entrance to the building, he/she will be greeted by a consular employee who will collect the pending documents.

Applicants coming to pick up visas

If an applicant’s case is completed, please arrive at the park located on Calzada and K streets at 8 a.m. to pick up the visa or travel document.  Embassy personnel will direct those applicants towards the U. S. Embassy building to collect the travel documents.

Visa Validity

Immigrant visas are valid for a maximum of six (6) months from the date of issuance, and in most cases this period will be shorter.  Under limited circumstances, when the applicant’s failure to travel was beyond their control, it is possible to replace an immigrant visa.  Waiting for a family member to receive a visa or parole is not considered beyond an applicant’s control.

Requesting Parole for Other Family Members

Immigrant visa applicants who are over 21 years of age may request parole for certain Cuban family members (please note that IR2, fiancé, returning residents, or Cuban family-based parole applicants are not eligible to request parole regardless of age).  On the morning of the interview, the applicant should advise the document checker that he or she would like to request parole for a family member(s) not included in the petition.  Prior to the interview, the applicant will need to complete a parole request sheet.  Following the interview, the applicant will have no further opportunity to request parole.  Final decisions regarding parole requests are made by a USCIS official.  Applicants are given the outcome of their parole requests approximately sixteen weeks after receiving the visa 


Family-based Immigrant Visas Fees
Type of VisaFee
Immigrant Visa $325
Fiancé Visas (K) $265
Diversity Visa (DV) $330

Attorneys and Family Members

The U.S. Embassy appreciates the contributions that attorneys and family members may make to the expeditious processing of immigrant visa applications, especially in ensuring that all required documentation is in order and properly prepared prior to the interview.  However, the U.S. Embassy does not permit attorneys or family members, with the exception of those assisting minors and the physically disabled or petitioners in IR1, CR1, F2A and K1 cases, to accompany immigrant visa applicants to their interviews or to participate in the interviews.

Additional Information

For additional, prerecorded information regarding immigrant visa processing, please contact the Information Unit at (53)(7) 839-4101. For issues not answered by the telephone information, you may send an email to

Consular information

  • Immigrant visa recipients

    USCIS requires immigrant visa recipients to pay an additional fee of $165 USD.  The fee covers the costs to process, produce and issue documents, such as your Green Card.

    Immigrant visa recipients must pay the fee prior to traveling to the United States. Payments are made online at  Payments cannot be made at the U.S. Embassy.  Payments can be made with either a credit or debit card or via transfer from a U.S. bank account.  Anyone can pay the USCIS immigrant fee on behalf of the visa recipient. The Alien Number and Case ID are necessary to make the online payment.

    For more information, please visit

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