If your visa has been approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you. Carefully review After the Interview on travel.state.gov to learn what to do when you receive your visa, enter the United States, pay the USCIS Immigrant Fee, and other important information.
After the Interview
It usually takes several business days to process and print the visa, so applicants should not purchase tickets to the United States until they have received their passport with the U.S. visa affixed inside.
Passport and Immigrant Visa (IV) packet delivery or pickup is done through SF Express. For information regarding fee requirements, please visit Apply for a U.S. Visa.
Applicants must sign on to Apply for a U.S. Visa to register and select a document delivery option before the visa interview. Passports and IV packets can only be delivered to Hong Kong Island, Kowloon, New Territories, Lantau, Chek Lap Kok and Ma Wan.
For other locations (namely Macau, outlying islands and Military or Justice Department locations), applicants must collect their immigrant visa packets from the SF Express office in Macau, Tsim Sha Tsui, Kwun Tong or Wanchai.
Note: Due to Compulsory Quarantine Measure, the Macau pickup centre option is not available for selection until further notice. Applicants may still choose the other 3 available pickup locations in Tsim Sha Shui, Wan Chai or Kwun Tong.
Please call the Consulate General Call Center (+852 5808 4666) if you are unsure if delivery is available to your home.
If the interviewing consular officer cannot issue a visa on the day of the interview because information or documentation is lacking, the officer will suspend the processing of the application under INA Section 221(g). The applicants will be informed at that time what information is required to finalize the visa application and to complete the adjudication. Most often, the applicant is missing important documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates, affidavits of support, or medical examination reports.
The submission by the applicant of any additional information is done through at all the courier SF Express designated locations and times, please visit Application Refused under INA 221(g) for detailed information.
Applicants will need to bring the following to the SF Express office:
- The letter provided to you indicating the required documents (the blue sheet),
- Your passport,
- A submission form (PDF 230 KB) with all documents indicated, and
- The additional documents you are submitting.
Once at the SF Express office the applicant should follow these steps:
- Get an envelope and airway bill from the SF Express staff.
- Complete the necessary airway bill.
- Be sure to place all necessary documents in the provided envelope. Don’t forget to include the blue sheet!
- Seal the envelope and give it and the airway bill to the SF staff.
- SF staff will give you a copy of the airway bill as a receipt. Please keep this receipt.
The documents will be delivered by SF Express to the Consulate within two business days in Hong Kong and four business days from Macau. If there are questions about the information provided, Consulate staff will contact the applicant directly. Otherwise, the passport will be sent back through SF Express along with the immigrant visa packet and important information.
After the visa is approved and issued
Once you have received your immigrant visa, please note the expiration date. You must enter the United States within the timeframe specified on the visa to obtain a permanent resident or “green” card (Form I-151 or I-551) that will allow you to live and work in the United States.
All individuals issued immigrant visas overseas after February 1, 2013 must pay a USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States. This fee is in addition to all other fees currently in place such as the visa application fee. This fee cannot be paid at the U.S. Consulate General. It must be paid online after the individual has received a visa and visa package.
The following are exempt from this fee:
- Children travelling to the United States as adopted children or prospective adopted children
- Returning residents
- Fiancé(e)s issued K visas
The below USCIS website has more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, if there are further questions:
At the port of entry in the U.S., the officials will stamp your passport and make a notation that you are registered for a permanent resident card. It normally takes several months for USCIS to process and send the permanent resident card to you. In the interim, the passport stamp, valid for a year, permits employment and travel as you await your green card. You may depart and return to the U.S. before you receive the permanent residence card, as long as the stamp in your passport has not expired. Should the stamp expire and you have still not received your permanent resident card, you should contact USCIS in the U.S. before departure to obtain permission to return to the U.S.