Who can Apply for an Immigrant Visa
In general, a person who wishes to immigrate to the United States must have a petition approved by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) before applying for an immigrant visa. The petition is filed either by a relative or a potential employer at a USCIS office in the United States. Specific information about filing immigrant petitions is available on the USCIS website. An individual with an approved petition and a priority date that is current for processing is eligible to apply for an immigrant visa or K non-immigrant visa.
The U.S. Embassy in Manila has a USCIS office that accepts and adjudicates U.S. immigration benefits filed by residents of: The Philippines, New Guinea, Micronesia, Marshall Islands, Palau, Kiribati, Tuvalu, Fiji, Vanuatu, Solomon Islands, Tonga, Samoa, Wallis, Futuna, New Caledonia, Pitcairn Island, Overseas French territories of French Polynesia, and most island nations in the Pacific region that are not covered by the other Field Offices in the Bangkok District. For information on how to contact USCIS Manila and to learn more about the services they provide, please click here.
- A beneficiary of an approved Form I-130 petition must apply for the appropriate immigrant visa under the Family-Sponsored (IR or F) categories. The Form I-130 is filed by a relative who is either a U.S. citizen or a lawful permanent resident (LPR) at a USCIS office in the United States. In certain cases where the sponsoring U.S. citizen resides in the Philippines, the I-130 petition may be filed at the USCIS office at the Embassy in Manila.
- A beneficiary of an approved Form I-140 petition must apply for the appropriate immigrant visa under the Employment-Based (E) category. The prospective U.S. employer files the I-140 petition and must obtain a certification from the U.S. Department of Labor that states that there are no qualified workers available in the United States for the proposed employment.
- For the Special Immigrant visa category, with the exception of a qualified current or former U.S. Government employee, an applicant needs an approved I-360 petition from the USCIS. Special workers in a religious occupation or vocation, qualified U.S. government employees, Amerasians and widowers of U.S. citizens fall under this classification.
- Certain individuals may qualify under the visa lottery system. For more information, please visit the diversity visa website at http://www.dvlottery.state.gov.
- Investors must file a Form I-526 petition with the USCIS.
- A Filipino spouse or fiancé(e) of a U.S. citizen may apply for a non-immigrant K visa with an approved I-129F petition. K visa is a nonimmigrant visa that allows beneficiaries to join their petitioners sooner. Persons who enter the United States with K visa must apply at USCIS to change their status from a non-immigrant to a lawful permanent resident (LPR).