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Family-Based Immigration
Immigrant Visas
January 30, 2023

The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez is conducting routine immigrant visa operations, scheduling thousands of socially distanced interviews each week in all immigrant visa categories.  This includes applicants whose cases are already at the Consulate General, and applicants whose cases remain at the National Visa Center (NVC).  Cases at NVC are being scheduled in the order that they became documentarily complete.

K visa applicants with cases at NVC are being scheduled for appointments at the U.S. Embassy in Mexico City in the order the cases were documentarily completed.  K visa applicants should contact NVC with any questions.

Upon receiving instructions from the Consulate General to appear in Ciudad Juarez for an immigrant visa interview appointment, medical exam, or for any other reason, applicants should read all the information below before planning a trip.

Those applicants who cannot wait for an immigrant visa appointment due to an emergency, should please see the Emergency Appointment Criteria and instructions, farther down on this page.  Please be aware that the Consulate General rarely schedules emergency appointments and only in cases of documented hardships that meet the specifically delineated criteria.

COVID-19 Vaccination Requirements for Immigrant Visa Applicants

Effective October 1, 2021, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Technical Instructions for panel physicians require all immigrant visa applicants to receive a full COVID-19 vaccine series as part of their medical exam prior to being issued a visa.  The CDC requires the COVID-19 vaccine to be approved through either the World Health Organization or the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.

Blanket waivers for the COVID vaccination will be applied in countries where the vaccine is not routinely available or when the vaccine is not age appropriate.  Panel physicians determine if applicants are eligible for a blanket waiver based on existing CDC guidelines; Consulate General staff do not make medical determinations, including the propriety or sufficiency of vaccine status. The Department of State encourages all immigrant visa applicants and others subject to a medical exam to get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible to avoid delays in their visa processing.

The CDC’s announcement can be found at the following link: https://www.cdc.gov/immigrantrefugeehealth/panel-physicians/covid-19-technical-instructions.html.

If you are scheduled for an immigrant visa appointment in Ciudad Juarez:

Consulate processes may be different than what you or family members experienced in the past.  While the primary method of communication is email, the Consulate General may contact you by email, phone, or physical mail with instructions on how to prepare for your visa interview.  Applicants should check any email account provided during the immigrant visa application process, including attorney and petitioner email addresses.

Applicants that need to update contact information (address, telephone number, or email address) after receiving the appointment notice should contact the Applicant Service Center (ASC) at +52-656-344-3003.  To update contact information while a case is pending at the National Visa Center, contact NVC.

Please plan to remain in Ciudad Juarez until the adjudication process is fully completed. All applicants can expect their immigrant visa interview process to last for two to five business days.  Unless instructions have been received to the contrary, applicants must attend a medical exam at an authorized clinic and a “biometrics” appointment at the ASC.  In addition to an appointment at an approved medical clinic and ASC, all applicants have two separate appearances at the Consulate General, spread over two business days.  It is not possible to adjust or accelerate this process to accommodate travel plans.

To prevent overcrowding and facilitate social distancing, applicants must not arrive to the Consulate General more than 15 minutes before their scheduled appointment time.  Applicants will not be allowed to enter the Consulate General building early, and early arrival will not result in a faster intake and interview process.  Further, to maintain a safe distance for all applicants, family members and friends should not accompany you to your interview unless critically necessary for mobility issues.  These individuals will not be permitted into the Consulate General except for parents and guardians of minor children or family members assisting with mobility issues.

The two medical exam clinics located near the Consulate General, Clínica Médica Internacional and Servicios Médicos de la Frontera, have enclosed, climate-controlled waiting rooms where family members and friends can safely and comfortably wait while applicants conclude their visa interviews.  Otherwise, please ask your family to wait in your hotel, guesthouse, or elsewhere in the city. Do not congregate on the sidewalks outside the Consulate General building.

Anyone entering the Consulate General must always wear a face mask that completely covers their mouth and nose. Visitors experiencing fever, cough, or symptoms associated with COVID-19 should not come to the Consulate General for their appointment.  Applicants may review the symptoms associated with COVID-19 on the CDC website.  Please protect the health and safety of everyone by maintaining social distance from staff and other visa applicants.  Applicant who must miss an appointment because of illness will be permitted to reschedule that appointment by contacting the Consulate through the public inquiry form.

If you are traveling to Ciudad Juarez from the United States, remember you are subject to Mexican laws while in Mexico.  It is illegal to bring e-cigarettes into Mexico, including for personal use.  Violations of Mexican law could lead to an arrest.


The Consulate does not provide parking for visa applicants.  Further, local police or Consulate security staff will immediately redirect anyone stopping a vehicle on the public streets surrounding the Consulate to drop off applicants.

Immigrant Visas: Medical Examinations

Medical examinations are only available for applicants who have been scheduled for an immigrant visa interview appointment, or if the Consulate General has requested that an applicant provide a new medical exam.  The clinic in Mexico City (Médicos Especializados Internacionales, MEI) and both clinics in Ciudad Juarez (Clínica Médica Internacional and Servicios Médicos de la Frontera) are taking precautions to avoid the spread of COVID-19.

The medical clinics are temporarily accepting other forms of identification if your valid Mexican passport is unavailable.  If the Consulate General has instructed you to seek a medical exam, but your passport is currently at the Consulate General, you may retrieve your passport before the exam or attend the exam with other identification.

Immigrant Visas: Emergency Appointment Criteria

Thousands of socially distanced routine appointments are scheduled at the Consulate General each week. However, an applicant for an immigrant visa may qualify for emergency scheduling if he or she is in Mexico and meets one or more of the following criteria:

  • The applicant is the spouse or child of an active-duty member of the United States armed forces.
  • The applicant, petitioner, or minor child of the applicant has a life-threatening medical emergency that requires the applicant’s immediate travel to the United States.
  • The applicant or his/her spouse is an essential medical worker, and the applicant’s immediate travel to the United States is necessary for the essential work to continue or resume.  This includes providing childcare while a spouse performs essential work.  Essential workers, in this context, include physicians, nurses, other healthcare professionals; those conducting medical or other research to combat the spread of COVID-19; or those performing work essential to combating, recovering from, or otherwise alleviating the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.
  • The applicant is an at-risk minor in Mexico without his/her parent(s).
  • The applicant may age-out of a visa category or other benefit within the next six months.  (Applicants who are protected by the Child Status Protection Act  do not qualify for emergency processing, as they are not at risk of aging out.)
  • Biological or legally adopted children of U.S. Citizens (generally IR-2), who are within six months of turning 18, and who will reside in the physical custody of their U.S. Citizen parent in the United States, may qualify for expedited processing to access Child Citizenship Act benefits.

While this is not an exhaustive list, emergency appointments should be requested based on the specific, individual circumstances of the petitioner, applicant, or family members.  Requests for emergency appointments are evaluated by consular officers, and the decisions cannot be appealed.

How to Request an Emergency Immigrant Visa Appointment

Emergency appointment criteria are the same for cases at the NVC or the Consulate General.

  • For cases at the NVC, applicants or attorneys should use the form here.
  • For cases already transferred to the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, applicants should use the form here.
  • For cases already transferred to the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, attorneys should use the form here.

Please include a contact email address. Be prepared to provide evidence of essential employment, medical diagnoses, approved I-601A, I-601, or I-212 waiver receipts, or other documents relevant to your case, in PDF format, upon email request.

If your request for emergency processing is approved, the Consulate General will contact you by email, phone, or physical mail to schedule an interview appointment.

Immigrant Visas: Local Filing of Form I-130, I-360, and I-600 Petitions

The U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez has limited authority from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to accept certain I-130, I-360, and I-600 petitions.  This authority only extends to U.S. citizens filing petitions for Immediate Relatives and self-petitioning widows.  DHS is normally responsible for adjudicating these petitions and only permits the Consulate General to accept petitions in narrow circumstances. The applicant and petitioner must meet specific physical presence requirements in Mexico and have authority to remain in Mexico for the duration of consular processing.  Petitioners must also show exceptional circumstances, which can include adoption, short notice of job relocation, U.S. military emergencies, or beneficiaries who are close to aging out of visa eligibility.  Petitioners should be prepared to provide documentary evidence supporting the basis for local filing.  More information can be found in the Foreign Affairs Manual.  Petitioners may not locally file at the Consulate General to circumvent DHS processing times.

Individuals who believe they qualify to file a petition at the Consulate General may contact CDJFilePetition@state.gov to request more information.

Contact the U.S. Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez

If you have any other questions related to your immigrant visa appointment or the status of your case, you may contact the Consulate General at:

Public Inquiries: Immigrant Visa Public Inquiries U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez

Legal Inquiries: Immigrant Visa Legal Inquiry Form:  U.S. Consulate General Ciudad Juarez