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Immigrant Visas

The Department of State acknowledges the International Civil Aviation Authority Organization (ICAO) deadline, requiring all travelers have a machine readable passport by November 24, 2015. Please note that under U.S. law a machine readable passport is NOT required for visa issuing purposes. So long as an applicant presents a valid passport, a visa can be placed in it.

Immigrant Visa Summary

  • The  U.S. Embassy in Kabul began immigrant visa processing on May 1, 2011.
  • The Immigrant Visa petition, Form I-130, is filed by the "petitioner," usually an American citizen or legal permanent resident family member of the person who wishes to immigrate. It is filed with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) in the United States for the "beneficiary" who is the person who wishes to immigrate. If DHS approves the petition, it is then sent to the National Visa Center (NVC).

Notice: Effective August 15, 2011, petitioners residing in Afghanistan will no longer be able to routinely file Forms I-130, Petition for Alien Relative, with the U.S. Embassy in Kabul.  Since USCIS does not have a public counter presence at Embassy Kabul, the petitioner will be required to file their Forms I-130 by mail with the USCIS Chicago Lockbox. As part of this change, we will only be able to accept and process Forms I-130 from petitioners who believe they have exceptional situations. Petitioners who believe that their situation merits an exception may contact us at to request an exception and explain their circumstances in detail. Each request for an exception will be evaluated individually and must be authorized by USCIS.


  • After receipt of the approved petition, and when the filing date (priority date) of the petition is reached, NVC forwards a "Packet 3" to the beneficiary, specifying the documents needed and actions that must be taken by the beneficiary and the petitioner prior to issuance of a visa.
  • After the required documents have been obtained, the beneficiary should sign the reverse side of the Packet-3 letter and send it, as well as Form OF230, to the Embassy’s Consular Section.
  • The beneficiary, who then becomes the "Applicant," is sent a "Packet 3.5" which consists of information, forms, and requests for documents. When the Consular Section receives Packet 3.5 back from the applicant, with all the forms completed and all the required documents, we will schedule a visa interview within the next few working days.
  • At the time of the interview the applicant pays an IV Processing fee prior to taking the oath and being interviewed.
  • It is important to note that almost all visa processing prior to the interview is conducted by the National Visa Center in the United States. With K (fiancé/e) visa appointments, the Consular Section at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul will contact applicants with required documentation and an appointment date.

Fees for Visa Services:

Consular fees have been updated. Please click here for more information: Fees for Consular Services to Change on September 12, 2014 (September 14, 2014) and Fees for Visa Services.

Notice: Effective February 1, 2013, all individuals issued immigrant visas overseas must pay a $165.00 USCIS Immigrant Fee before traveling to the United States. Only prospective adoptive parents whose child(ren) is/are entering the United States under either the Orphan or Hague Process, Iraqi and Afghan special immigrants who were employed by the U.S. government, returning residents, and those issued K visas are exempt from the new fee. The below USCIS website has more details on the new fee, including contact information for USCIS, if there are further questions:

Fraud Prevention

  • The Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy would like to remind all Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) applicants that the only official source of information and policy regarding the SIV program is the U.S. Embassy itself.  We do not comment or post information on social media sites that are not clearly identifiable as belonging to the U.S. Embassy in Afghanistan. 

    As a reminder, the U.S. Embassy does not charge for applying to the SIV program and encourages anyone who is charged to file an application to contact the Fraud Prevention Unit at