Types of Immigrant Visas
There are four basic types of Immigrant Visas to the United States
- Immediate relative (petition based)
- Family preference (petition based)
- Employment-Based (petition based)
- Diversity visa
A sponsor in the United States must begin the application process for all petition based visas.
Applying for Petition-Based Visas
A United States citizen, a legal permanent resident, or a business in the United States must begin the process of applying for a petition based immigrant visa. The process is started by filing a petition, usually the I-130 document, with the United States Citizenship and Immigration Service.
The relationship to the petitioner defines the type of immigrant visa the petitioner can file and determines how long it takes for the visa to become available.
If you reside in Burma and wish to submit an immigrant visa petition, you may file at the USCIS Chicago Lockbox facility:
For U.S. Postal Service:
P.O. Box 804625
Chicago, IL 60680-4107
For Express mail and courier deliveries:
131 South Dearborn-3rd Floor
Chicago, IL 60603-5517
For lockbox filing tips, please visit the USCIS website: http://www.uscis.gov/forms-filing-tips#.
You may file at the U.S. Embassy in Rangoon only if exceptional circumstances exist and the USCIS Field Office Director in Bangkok determines that the Embassy may accept and adjudicate the case. For a list of USCIS international offices and filing instructions please visit http://www.uscis.gov/international.
IR-1 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen
CR-1 - Spouse of a U.S. citizen (conditional status)
IR-2 - Unmarried minor child of a U.S. citizen
CR-2 - Unmarried minor child of a U.S. citizen (conditional status)
IR-3 - Orphan adopted abroad by a U.S. citizen
IR-4 - Orphan to be adopted in the U.S. by a U.S. citizen
IR-5 - Parent of a U.S. citizen
Important Notes on Immediate Relative Visas
Immediate Relative visas are adjudicated as soon as the application is processed through USCIS, the National Visa Center, and the Embassy. IR visas applicants do not have to wait for visa numbers to become available.
Currently, international adoption is not possible in Burma. The only legal adoption mechanism is by executing a Kittima adoption deed which permits adoption only by Burmese nationals who are Buddhists. Non-Buddhists are not permitted to adopt in Burma. Visit Country Specific Adoption Information for more information.
Spouses of U.S. citizens married less than two years have conditional status (CR-1). Children of a CR-1 also have conditional status (CR-2).
- F1 - Unmarried son or daughter of a U.S. citizen
- F2A - Spouse and/or minor child of an LPR
- F2B - Unmarried son or daughter of an LPR
- F3 - Married son or daughter of a U.S. citizen
- F4 - Brother or sister of a U.S. citizen
Important Notes on Family Preference Visas
Family Preference visa applicants must wait for the visa to become available before interviewing. Each year, there is a limited number of visas given to each Family Preference category. Visas are made available according to visa type (F1, F2, etc) and priority date, the date the petition was approved by USCIS. You can find the priority date on the letter USCIS sent to the petitioner. Once you know your Family Preference visa type (F1, F2, etc.) and your priority date, you can check the State Department's Visa Bulletin to learn what priority date is currently being interviewed for visas.
- E1 - Priority workers
- E2 - Professionals holding advanced degrees, persons of exceptional ability
- E3 - Skilled workers
- E4 - Special Immigrants
- E5 - Employment creation investors
For more information, visit the State Department's Employment-Based Visa Site.