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Information for U.S. Passport Customers

U.S. Visas

English

Immigrant Visa Process

Step 7: Collect Civil Documents

After you complete your DS-260(s), you and each family member immigrating with you MUST collect the civil documents required to support your visa application.

Your civil documents MUST be issued by the official issuing authority in your country. Please refer to the Document Finder to learn about the civil document requirements for each country.

Please note that all documents not written in English, or in the official language of the country from which you are applying, must be accompanied by certified translations. The translation must include a statement signed by the translator stating that:

  • The translation is accurate, and
  • The translator is competent to translate.

Important Notice on Missing Documents: If a required document is unavailable per the country-specific guidelines, you do not need to scan the document into your CEAC. However, if you cannot obtain a required document for another reason, you must submit a detailed written explanation to NVC when you scan your other documents. During your visa interview, the consular officer will determine whether you must obtain the missing document before a visa can be issued. As a general rule, any document that is listed as “available” on the country-specific guidelines must be reviewed by a consular officer. Failure to obtain all required documents will delay your case.

 

ALL / ALL /

Documentation of Adoption

If an intending immigrant child was adopted and if the child’s application to immigrate is based upon a parent-child relationship, then you must submit the below custody documents.

If you are the adoptive parent and/or petitioner, you must provide:

  1. A certified copy of the adoption decree.
  2. The legal custody decree if custody occurred before the adoption.
  3. A statement showing dates and places where the child resided with the adoptive parents.
  4. If the child was adopted when aged 16 or 17 years old, you must submit evidence that the child was adopted with, or subsequent to, the adoption of a natural sibling under age 16 by the same adoptive parent(s).

 

ALL / ALL /

Birth Certificates

You and each family member immigrating with you must obtain an original birth certificate or certified copy.

ALL / ALL /

Court and Prison Records

If you were convicted of a crime, you MUST obtain a certified copy of each court and prison record, even if you were later granted amnesty, a pardon, or other act of clemency.

ALL / ALL /

Marriage Certificates

If you are or have been married, you must obtain original marriage certificate/s or certified copies of EVERY marriage.

ALL / ALL /

Marriage Termination Documentation

If you were previously married, you must obtain evidence of the termination of EVERY prior marriage you have had. Your evidence must be an original or certified copy of one of the following documents: FINAL legal divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment papers.

ALL / ALL /

Military Records

If you served in the military of any country, you must obtain a photocopy of your military record.

ALL / ALL /

Petitioner Documents

If you are applying for an IR5 visa as the parent of a U.S. citizen or for an F4 visa as the brother or sister of a U.S. citizen:  You must obtain an original birth certificate for your petitioner, or a certified copy.

If you are applying for an IR1, CR1, or F2A visa as the spouse of a U.S. citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident and your petitioning spouse was previously married:  You must obtain evidence of the termination of EVERY prior marriage your petitioning spouse has had. This evidence must be an original or certified copy of one of the following documents:  FINAL legal divorce decree, death certificate, or annulment papers.

 

ALL / ALL /

Photocopy of Valid Passport Biographic Data Page

You and each family member immigrating with you must submit a photocopy of the biographic data page of a currently valid passport. The biographic data page is the page with your photograph, name, date, and place of birth.

ALL / ALL /

Police Certificates

If you are 16 years of age or older, you must obtain a photocopy of a police certificate from all countries you have lived in using below criteria:

If you ... AND you... THEN submit a police certificate from...
Are 16 years old or older Lived in your country of nationality for more than 6 months at any time in your life Your country of nationality
Are 16 years old or older Have lived in your country of current residence (if different from nationality) for more than 6 months Your country of current residence
Have ever lived in another country for 12 months or more Were 16 years or older at the time you lived there The country where you used to live.
Were arrested for any reason, regardless of how long you lived in that city or country, and no matter what age you were   The city and/or country where you were arrested.

Note: Present and former residents of the United States do NOT need to submit any U.S. police certificates.

Important: Police certificates expire after one year, unless the certificate was issued from your country of previous residence and you have not returned there since the police certificate was issued. If at the time of your interview the following three items are all true, you must bring a new police certificate to your visa interview:

  • You are more than 16 years old;
  • The police certificate submitted to NVC was obtained more than one year ago; and
  • You still live in the country that issued the certificate.