How to apply

Most immigrant visa appointments are scheduled by the National Visa Center.  If you have received our Instructions for Immigrant Visa Applicants and our Instructions Concerning the Medical Examination and Vaccines from the National Visa Center and already have a visa appointment scheduled, make sure to follow the instructions exactly.  Failure to do so could result in a delay in your case and could even cause you to lose your chance to live and work in the United States.

The first step in obtaining a family-based immigrant visa is for your relative (the petitioner) to file a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative) by mail with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) of the Department of Homeland Security.  Once your relative has filed a petition for you, you may check its status by accessing the USCIS Case Status Search Page.

United States citizens and Legal Permanent Residents (LPR) of the U.S. who wish to begin the process of immigrating a family member(s) to join them in the U.S. should file an I-130 petition with the nearest office of the Department of Homeland Security’s U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) in the United States. American citizens residing in Mexico may file petitions at the USCIS office in Mexico that has jurisdiction over their place of residence. USCIS offices are located at the Embassy in Mexico City and at the Consulates General in Ciudad Juarez and Monterrey. LPRs must always file petitions in the United States.

Once the petition has been approved by USCIS, the petition is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC). NVC processes all approved immigrant visa petitions after they are received from USCIS, and retains them until the cases are ready for adjudication by a consular officer. Petitions may remain at NVC for several months or years depending on the visa category. When an applicant’s case is about to become current  (i.e., the appointment is likely to be available within the year), NVC will coordinate with the applicant regarding the submission of all civil documents, police clearances, affidavits of support, and other key documents. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance to keep NVC updated as to the most current contact information for both the applicant and the petitioner. To contact the NVC, visit the National Visa Center Contact Information page.

Both the applicant and the petitioner must respond to the NVC mailings before the case is forwarded to the Consulate General in Ciudad Juarez, where all immigrant visas for Mexico are processed. If the priority date (the date the petition was filed) is not current, the NVC will keep the approved petition on file until the priority date is reached. Once the case is forwarded to the Consulate, the applicant will receive notification of his or her appointment date and time.

The Consulate will mail the applicant an appointment letter with instructions.

It is the applicant and/or the petitioner’s responsibility to gather and complete the documentation needed for the visa. All documents must be current. Any expired documents may delay the processing of the visa. You must bring all documentation with you to your interview at the Consulate:

  • Biographic Data questionnaire (DS-260) Applicants must fill out and submit the form online. Print the confirmation page and bring this page to your interview. Please note: Cases with no NVC Invoice number may enter the applicant’s date of birth in the following format – YYYYMMDD- as a substitute invoice number.
  • Original and photocopy of petitioner’s long form birth certificate (not an abstract) and applicant’s birth certificate. Applicants with non-English or non-Spanish birth certificates must submit a notarized translation with the original and a photocopy.
  • Original and photocopy of applicant’s marriage certificate (if applicable).
  • Original and photocopy of proof of termination of all previous marriages of both the applicant and petitioner (if applicable).
  • A signed original of Form I-864 Affidavit of Support from the petitioner and any joint sponsor/s, as well as supporting documentation that proves the individual offering to support the applicant earns the amount of money indicated on the affidavit (proof of legal status in the U.S., job letter, most recent tax forms, and recent pay slips).
  • I-797 petition approval notice (optional).
  • Any type of previously issued U.S. non-immigrant visa (for example: tourist visa, border crossing card, student visa, etc.)
  • Valid Mexican passport issued by the Mexican Secretariat of Foreign Relations (S.R.E.) or a Mexican Consulate in the U.S.
  • Two recent color passport-sized photographs.

Additional Information

  • Please be advised that all original birth and marriage certificates, divorce decrees and death certificates should be presented in both original and copies.

The Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) requires that all immigrant visa applicants and certain non-immigrant visa applicants (including K visa applicants), regardless of age, undergo a medical examination before receiving a visa. All applicants who are required to submit to a medical exam must receive the exam from one of the three approved medical clinics prior to the visa interview.

We suggest you make arrangements for your medical examination at least two days prior to your visa interview date. It is recommended that children within this age range be immunized at least four (4) weeks prior to their medical examination.

In some cases, the clinics will send the medical results to the Consulate for inclusion in your application. If you are given your medical exam to carry to the Consulate DO NOT open the sealed envelope. If you open the medical exam, you will be required to schedule and pay for  a new medical exam.

Special note about TB testing

  • If you are found to have TB, you will be subject to additional testing, which will take six weeks. You will not be allowed to attend your scheduled appointment. You will receive further instructions from the Medical clinic staff at the time of your initial medical examination.
  • When the medical clinic receives the results of your additional testing you will be contacted and can either reschedule your visa appointment or you will receive further instructions on receiving treatment.

During the medical exam, it is important to give complete and honest answers to all of the questions asked by the clinic staff. If, during the course of your visa interview, the Consulate discovers you left out or misrepresented medical information, you will have to schedule and pay for a new medical exam.

Additional Information

In Ciudad Juarez, there are two medical clinics approved to process immigrant visa applicants. The clinics are located near the Consulate. Applicants must present their visa interview appointment letter in order to obtain the medical examination. The clinics see applicants on a walk-in basis between 6 and 11 A.M. Monday to Friday.

Names and addresses of clinics (in alphabetical order):

Clinica Medica Internacional
Ave. Ramón Rivera Lara #9020
Fracc. Las Lunas
Ciudad Juárez, Chih., México  C.P. 32543
Phone: (011-52-656) 227-2800
Fax: (011-52-656) 227-2800
Toll Free from US 1-844-624-9447
Toll Free from Mexico 01-800-801-8585

Servicios Medicos de la Frontera
Prol. Ramon Rivera Lara #8950
Col. Partido Senecú
Ciudad Juárez, Chih., México C.P. 32540
Phone: (011-52-656) 688-2700
Fax: (011-52-656) 688-2701
Toll Free from US 1-844-847-5340
Toll Free from Mexico 01-800-201-8472


NOTE: Applicants residing in the State of Mexico and Mexico City must go to the following authorized clinic for their medical examinations:

Medicos Especializados Internacionales
Hamburgo 206, interior 204, 2nd Floor,
Colonia Juárez, Delegación Cuauhtémoc,
Mexico City. 06600
Tel. (55)2624-0630 and (55)5207-3794 ext 101

Applicants may make appointments or request information by phone from 8:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  The medical clinic in Mexico City will receive visa applicants for appointments from 7:30 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.


All clinics charge the following fees for the examination:

  • Applicants ages 15 and over: USD $220.00
  • Applicants between ages 2 and 14: USD $178.00
  • Applicants younger than 2: USD $135.00
  • A 16% tax (I.V.A.) must be added to the cost of the medical exam for all applicants.  Cash or credit cards (Visa or MasterCard) are the only forms of payment accepted.

The vaccination fee is separate from the cost of your required medical examination.


The first step in obtaining a K-3 visa is for your U.S. citizen spouse (the petitioner) to file a Form I-130 (Petition for Alien Relative)  by mail with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).  Your spouse will then receive a Form I-797 (Notice of Action) stating that the Form I-130 has been received by USCIS.  Your spouse then must file a Form I-129F (Petition for Alien Fiancé(e)) and the Form I-797 with USCIS.

Once your spouse has filed a petition for you, you may check its status by accessing the USCIS Case Status Search Page.

USCIS forwards the approved Form I-129F to the Department of State’s National Visa Center, which then sends it to the Immigrant Visa Unit of the U.S. U.S. Consulate General, Ciudad Juarez.  The Immigrant Visa Unit will send you our Instructions for K-3/K-4 Applicants.

Please follow the instructions exactly.  Failure to do so could result in a delay in your case and could even cause you to lose your chance to live and work in the United States.

The consular officer cannot decide whether or not to issue you a visa until you formally apply and are interviewed.  Therefore, we strongly recommend that you NOT make non-refundable flight arrangements or other travel plans until and unless you actually receive your visa.

Once you enter the United States on a K-3 visa, you and your U.S. citizen spouse must contact USCIS to change your status to that of legal permanent resident.  The change of status is NOT automatic.

Important note: The law generally requires that a K-3 visa for an applicant who married a U.S. citizen outside the United States be issued by a consular officer in the foreign state in which the marriage occurred.

Please make sure to read the Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa (PDF – 54kb).