What is an immigrant visa?

Author: Maria Aguila, Law Office of Maria Aguila, PL

An immigrant visa is a document issued by a US consular officer abroad that allows a non-US citizen to travel to the US and apply for admission as a legal permanent resident (LPR). An individual may become an LPR usually through a family member, employer, special immigration category or diversity visa program.

In most cases, an employer sends an application to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services for the foreign national employee to become an LPR and obtain a green card. Once an individual is admitted as an LPR, he or she generally has the right to live and work permanently in the US.