The Immigrant Visa Process
- After Your Petition is Approved
- Begin National Visa Center (NVC) Processing
- Choose an Agent
- Pay Fees
- Collect and Submit Forms and Documents to the NVC
- Submit Visa Application Form
- Collect Financial Documents
- Collect Supporting Documents
- Submit Documents to the NVC
Scanning and uploading tips
File Size and Type
Each individual file (scanned document) must be no larger than 2 MB (megabytes). If your scanned image is too large, compress it before uploading it. “Zipped” files will not be accepted for uploading.
Scan each document as a separate file. If a document contains multiple pages, scan all the pages together into a single file. If the document size is more than 2 MB, compress the file. Only split a document into multiple smaller files if it is still more than 2 MB after compression.
Acceptable file types include .jpg, .jpeg, and .pdf.
Compressing a File
Compression means saving your document in a smaller file size. This not only allows the file to take up less space on your hard drive but also means it can be uploaded or e-mailed much faster. However, not all file types are easily compressed. Most computer operating systems include an option to compress a file. This option is often found under “File” or “Save,” or appears when you right-click on a file name in a navigation screen. Look on the “Help” tool in your computer operating system for more information on what is available to you.
There is also third-party compression software available, both at no cost and for purchase. Please remember that at this time, the Department of State cannot accept files that have been “zipped.”
After you scan a document, make sure that all the information is easily seen and read, and there are not any parts of the document that are cut off or cannot be seen. Most scanning programs offer a preview function so you can make sure the document is easily read. If you cannot read the scanned document, re-scan it at a higher resolution. Keep in mind this means the saved file will be larger and you may need to compress the file before you upload it.
Use a pen to complete and sign forms that will be scanned to ensure the writing can be seen on your scan.
If any document is in color, please scan it in color rather than black and white.
Please scan both the front and back sides of any document that has stamps, seals, or writing on the back. (If the back of the document is blank, do not scan it.)
If you have a certified translation of your document, include a scan of the translation with the original (i.e. foreign language) document in a single file.
National Visa Center: After petition approval, the National Visa Center (NVC) handles processing for certain kinds of documents, sending them onward to U.S. Embassies & Consulates. When and how to Contact NVC
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS): USCIS oversees immigration to the United States and approves (or denies) immigrant petitions, and more. Learn about USCIS.