If you are already married to a US citizen, but you are currently outside the U.S., you can apply for an Immigrant visa at a US embassy in the country where you are residing or domiciled now.
Procedure for visa application at an US embassy abroad (Consular Processing)
Step 1) A Petitioner: an U.S Citizen spouse / Relative
Your US citizen spouse must file an Immigration Petition for you with United State Citizenship and Immigration Services in the U.S. Once it is approved, your case will be transferred to National Visa Center and eventually to the US embassy in the country where you are residing or domiciled.
Step 2) National Visa Center
Once USCIS approves the Immigration Petition filed on behalf of you, they transfer your files to the National Visa Center for the next step. You should submit DS260 to National Visa Center and other supporting documents such as your passport, birth certificate, affidavit of financial support, police certificate and others requested.
Step 3) Interview at an US embassy – Beneficiaries/Visa applicants
When your DS260 application is completed, National Visa Center send you a notification for interview at US embassy in the country where you indicated on your application to reside. The notification includes the interview date, time and location. Once you received the notification, you must register your visa interview online with the specific US embassy.
Your should bring Copy of your DS 260 Submit Confirmation Sheet, Interview Notification mail (or e-mail), medical examination result, and other documents specified to bring with you in the notification. If you successfully complete the interview, they will issue you an Immigrant Visa. The visa usually is valid for six months from the date of interview.
If your visa is refused, please refer to Inadmissibility and Waiver.
(1) Korean Nationals
Koreans must obtain a Criminal (Investigation) Records Check Reply ‘For permission of foreign country immigration and stay’ “Bomjoi-Soosakyongryeok Hoiboseo: Waekuk Yipkuk-Chaeryu Heogayong (범죄수사경력 회보서: 외국입국체류허가용).” These certificates can be obtained at any police station. A passport or national ID card will be required for identification purposes. No fee is charged, and the certificates are issued immediately. Application forms can be obtained at the police station.
(2) Foreign Nationals in Korea
For foreign nationals, Criminal Records Certificate “Bomjoikyungryeokjeungmyungseo (범죄경력증명서)” must be obtained. This certificate can be obtained at any police station with a Foreign Affairs Division (외사과). Your passport and one photo are required; no fee is charged. Applications take approximately one week to process, and you may pick up the certificate at the same police station. Application forms can be obtained at the police station.
The Korean police certificates are issued both in Korean and English. If you have ever been arrested in any jurisdiction, court records with English translations should also be submitted.
(3) Chinese Nationals
ALL APPLICANTS OVER 16 YEARS OF AGE MUST PROVIDE: A police certificate issued within the last 24 months (with a certified English translation) from your country/territory of nationality that covers the ENTIRE TIME you have lived in that country since age 16. Chinese local notary offices are the only authority that can issue Chinese Police Certificates.
Do you currently reside outside the country of your nationality? AND have you resided there for longer than six (6) months? If yes to both, please also provide a police certificate issued within the last 24 months (with a certified English translation) from that country.
Have you ever lived anywhere else outside your country of nationality for more than one year? If yes, please also provide a police certificate (with a certified English translation) from that country which covers the entire period of residency.
Are you a K-1 visa applicant? If yes, provide a police certificate (with a certified English translation) that covers the entire period of residency from all countries you have resided in for six (6) months or longer since age 16.
All immigrant visa applicants, regardless of age, require a medical examination prior to the issuance of a visa. Only a physician accredited by the U.S. Embassy can perform this exam.
|Name of Hospital||Contact||Online Reservation|
Gangnam Severance Hospital (Visa Medical Center)
|Dogok-ro 235, Gangnam-gu, Seoul (Visa Medical Center, 1st floor) Tel: 02-2019-1209
Saint Mary’s Hospital
63 Ro 10, Youngdeungpo-Gu, Seoul
|Seoul National University Hospital||Daehak-Ro 101, Jongno-Gu, Seoul
|Yonsei Severance Hospital||
Yonsei-Ro 50-1, Seodaemun-Gu, Seoul
|Haeundae Paik Hospital
|Haeundae-Ro 875, Haeundae-Gu, Pusan
Items to bring for medical examination
- Your visa interview letter
- Your passport,
- Five (5) recently taken passport-sized color photographs,
- A copy of your immunization records; and,
- Your current email, address and zip code; intended U.S. address with zip code; and prior countries of residence.
Any medical examination fees, including x-ray and blood test fees, must be paid at the hospital. The range of medical examination fees at panel physician hospital is as follows: 310,000 – 397,091 for age of 15 or older; 160,000 – 345,000 for ages between 2 and 14; and, 135,000 – 220,000 for age 1 or younger depending on the procedures or tests determined to be necessary by the panel physician. Vaccination fees are additional.
|LOCATION||Name of Hospital and Contact||Fee|
|BEIJING||Beijing International Travel Healthcare Center
20 Hepingli North Street, Dongcheng Dist., Beijing
Tel: (010) 82005029 / 82003383
|Basic fee: RMB1248 for adult, RMB1445 for child aged 2 to 14, RMB705 for child aged under 2|
|Health Care Center of Guangzhou International Travel
4F, 5/F East Tower, Poly Bld, No. 59 Huali Rd, Zhujiang New Town, Guangzhou
Tel: (020) 81219500 / 8129513
|Basic fee: RMB1300 for adult, RMB1500 for child aged 2 to 14, RMB700 for child aged under 2|
|FUJIAN||Fujian Provincial Hospital (South Branch)
No. 516 Jinrong South Road, Fuzhou, Fujian
Tel: (0591) 88619601 / 88619602
|Basic fee: RMB1400 for adult, RMB1500 for child aged 2 to 14, RMB900 for child aged under 2|
|SHANGHAI||Shanghai International Travel Medical Center
2F. Bld 3, No. 15 Jin Bang Road, Shanghai
Tel: (021) 62688851
|Basic fee: RMB1300 for adult, RMB1500 for child aged 2 to 14, RMB900 for child aged under 2|
Visa Interview and Refusal of Visa
After interview for immigrant visa or K visas and your application for the visas were refused for reasons, you will be given a Notice of Rejection by the interviewing consular officer. The notice explains why your application was refused and how to further proceed with the application.
Inadmissibility under Immigration and Naturalization Act
|Code||Reason for Refusal|
|INA §221(g)||Did not fully complete the visa application and/or provide all required supporting documents|
|INA §214(b)||Did not establish eligibility for the visa category being applied for or overcoming the presumption of being an intending immigrant|
|INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)||Was convicted of a crime involving moral turpitude;
• A crime involving moral turpitude (other than purely political offense).
• A controlled substance violation according to the laws and regulations of any country related to a single offense of simple possession of 30 grams or less of marijuana.
• Two or more convictions, other than purely political ones, for which you received sentences of confinement amounting to 5 years or more.
• Prostitution, including having procured others for prostitution or having received the proceeds of prostitution.
• Unlawful commercialized vice whether or not related to prostitution.
• Serious criminal activity but you asserted immunity from prosecution.
|INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(II)||Was convicted of a drug violation
No waiver is available expect for possession of 30g of Marijuana for own use.
|INA § 212(a)(2)(B)||Has two or more criminal convictions for which the total sentence of confinement was 5 years or more|
|INA §212(a)(4)||Did not provide an adequate affidavit of support when one was required; therefore denied under public charge|
|INA §212(a)(6)(C)(i)||Misrepresented a material fact or committed fraud to attempt to receive a visa|
|INA §212(a)(9)(B)(i)||Previously remained longer than authorized in the United States|
Waiver of Inadmissibility
|Code||Type of Waiver||Standards|
|INA212(g)(1)||Waiver of Communicable Disease||· The spouse, parent, unmarried son or daughter, or minor unmarried lawfully adopted child of
· A self petitioner under the Violence Against Women Act (VA WA)
· The fiance(e) of a U.S. citizen or the fiance(e)’s child.
|INA 212 (d)(3)||Waiver of inadmissibility of nonimmigrant visa.||BIA’s standards for waiver:
1. The risk of harm in admitting the applicant;
2. The seriousness of the acts that caused the inadmissibility; and,
3. The importance of the applicant’s reason for seeking entry.
Matter of Hranka, 16 I&N Dec.491(BIA1978) “the applicant’s reason’s for entering the US need to be compelling”
Reference material: FAM 40.301 N3. 22CFR40.301
|INA212(a)(9)(B)||Waiver of Unlawful Presence longer than 6 months
|Extreme Hardship Waiver
-You have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or a U.S. citizen fiance(e) who petitioned for your K visa, who would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission, and
– Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.
|INA212(h)||Waiver of criminal grounds
INA § 212(a)(2)(A)(i)(I)
|Extreme Hardship Waiver or 15 years or older crimes (not contrary to the national welfare, safety or security of the US)
|INA 212(i)||Waiver for Fraud/Misrepresentation
|Extreme Hardship Waiver or
• You are a VA WA self-petitioner, and that you or your U.S. citizen, lawful permanent resident, or qualified parent or child would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission; and
• Your application should be granted as a matter of discretion, with the favorable factors outweighing the unfavorable factors in your case.
|INA212(d)(11)||Waiver of Smuggling||An alien lawfully admitted for permanent residence who temporarily proceeded abroad voluntarily and not under an order of removal, and are otherwise admissible to the United States as a returning resident under section 211(b) of the INA, or
Seeking admission or adjustment of status as an immediate relative under section INA 201(b)(2)(A) or as an immigrant under section 203(a) of the INA (first, second, and third family-based preference, but not fourth preference) or as the fiance(e) (or child of the fiance(e))’of a U.S citizen; and
You have encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided only an individual who at the time of such action was your spouse, parent, son, or daughter (and no other individual) to enter the United States in violation of the law; and
Your application should be granted to serve humanitarian purposes, to assure family unity, or because it is otherwise in the public interest;
|INA212(a)(9)(A)(iii)||Waiver of Applicant previously removed|
Extreme Hardship Waiver
Qualifying Relatives: You have a U.S. citizen or lawful permanent resident spouse or parent, or a U.S. citizen fiance(e) who petitioned for your K visa, who would experience extreme hardship if you were denied admission.
Factors to be considered: It includes, but not limited to, whether your qualifying relatives have family ties to the US, the extent of the qualifying relative’s family ties outside the US; conditions in your home country; financial impact of your departure from the US; and significant health conditions, particularly when, tied to an unavailability of suitable care in your home country. Matter of Cervantes, 22I&N Dec. 560, 566 (BIA 1999)