Immigrant Visa FAQs

  1. Non-Immigrant Visa FAQs
  2. Immigrant Visa FAQs

Please take the time to review the information on our website together with the following most frequently asked questions we receive.

Information about applying for an immigrant visa is available here. If you require information about filing a petition for your relative, please contact the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) for assistance, via their website,

Overseas filers who are residing in the Republic of Ireland should send the I-130 petition and a USD bank draft for the exact amount along with the petition to the Chicago lockbox.  Some banks in Ireland will issue a bank draft in U.S. dollars.  Please do not send cash, a personal check, a postal order or any check in Euro.

The time it takes to process a visa application varies with each individual case. If the time factor is of importance, you should contact USCIS where you will file the petition to ascertain processing times before deciding on applying for a fiancé(e) or immigrant visa

You can check the progress of your petition approval via the U.S. Citizenship and Immigrations Services (USCIS) website  – using your receipt number.

It can take approximately 4 weeks from the date on which the forms are submitted to the Immigrant Visa Unit for an applicant’s file to be updated.  An interview will not be scheduled until the Immigrant Visa Unit is in receipt of all of the forms required to process the application, and the medical examination.  If it has been more than 4 weeks since you submitted the forms and attended a medical examination with the panel physician, please email  Please note that if it has been less than six weeks since you submitted the forms in support of your application, you will not receive a response to your inquiry.

We cannot answer speculative questions concerning the filing of an I-864. The decision on whether or not the I-864 meets the poverty level guidelines for your household size can only be made by a consular officer on the day of your visa interview.

Please visit the USCIS website for further information.

USCIS will forward the approved fiance(e) visa petition to this office through the National Visa Center in New Hampshire.  This process can take up to 8 weeks.  As soon as the Immigrant Visa Unit receives the approved petition, they will send you a letter notifying you of the steps you are required to take to begin processing your application.

If more than 8 weeks has passed since you received the Notice of Action and you have not yet been contacted by the Immigrant Visa Unit, you may contact them by emailing   You must provide the full name of the person accompanying you.  Please note, if it has been less than 8 weeks since you received the Notice of Action, we will not response to your inquiry.

A fiance(e) visa petition is valid for four months from the date on which it is approved.  If you are unable to apply for the visa before the petition expires, your U.S. citizen fiance should furnish a statement confirming his/her intention to marry you within 90 days of your arrival in the United States.  This statement should be presented on the day of your visa interview.

Appointments cannot be rescheduled for reasons other than serious medical or similar emergencies. A reschedule request will only be considered if it is accompanied by a medical report or other documentation regarding the emergency reason. A request to reschedule an appointment must be stated in writing to

Before cancelling your scheduled appointment, you should be aware that you may have to wait several months for another appointment date. Such delays can be important should there be a regression in priority dates for certain categories of immigrants.

If you do not attend the scheduled appointment and do not contact the Embassy, your case may be closed.

When completing the form,  please include your case number (e.g. DBL2016XXXXXX). Failure to do so will delay our response.

No, there is no requirement that the U.S citizen spouse attend the Immigrant visa interview.



If your immigrant visa application is being processed by the Immigrant Visa Unit at the Embassy and you have changed your mailing address you may notify of your new address by sending an email to If your application is being processed by the National Visa Center, please notify them of any changes to your application as we do not have access to your immigrant visa file.

When completing the form,  please include your case number (e.g. DBL2016XXXXXX). Failure to do so will delay our response.

Embassy Dublin processes Immigrant visa applications for individuals resident in the Republic of Ireland. In order for us to have the immigrant/fiancé(e) visa file transferred to Embassy Dublin please submit a written request for the transfer, with the applicant’s complete name, case number and local address clearly indicated.  You much also submit proof of your long term residency in the Republic of Ireland. The request may be sent to this mailbox and you may scan any documents you feel are relevant.

If we approve the request, we will contact the Embassy/Consulate where the visa file is currently located, to forward the visa case to Dublin.

Please note that it can take several weeks/months to receive cases from other embassies/consulates.

You will not require a visa for your child if: he/she is under two years of age; it is his/her first entry into the United States since birth; and he/she is being accompanied by the parent who is applying for readmission as a permanent resident upon the parent’s first return to the United States after the child’s birth. Your child will require his or her own passport, if not included on the accompanying parent’s passport, and his/her long form birth certificate, listing both parents’ names.  In the event that one parent is a citizen of the United States, the foregoing information should be disregarded and an application must be made for a U.S. passport.  Follow link to Eligibility for U.S. Citizenship on this site.


I’ve lost my Permanent Resident Card (green card); what do I do?

If a green card has been lost or stolen or is expired, in most other countries, the permanent resident would need to apply for either a waiver of the document or a transportation letter that will permit him/her to apply for entry into the U.S.  However, because the United States Customs and Border Protection (USCBP) has pre-flight inspection facilities in Ireland and a transportation letter can only be issued in the country of final departure to the U.S., the U.S. Embassy in Dublin does not issue transportation letters.

If a permanent resident is traveling directly back to the U.S. from either Dublin or Shannon airports, he/she may apply for admission at the USCBP pre-flight inspection facilities at the airport. If the person is transiting another country en route to the U.S., including the UK, he/she must make arrangements to apply for a transportation letter at the U.S. Embassy in that country.

If a green card holder will be in direct route to the U.S. from Dublin or Shannon, he/she may file a Form I-90, “Application for Replacement Card” at the airport. ( They should bring a valid passport, a police report (if applicable for stolen green card) and proof that they have not been outside the United States for more than one year, for example, an entry stamp in your passport or an airline ticket. The permanent resident should also be prepared to show the immigration inspector adequate identification to substantiate the claim.    The green card holder may fill out the form and pay any applicable fees when leaving the country at the USCBP pre-inspection at Dublin or Shannon airports. The green card holder will then be required to report in person to the local USCIS District Office in the United States for completion of the card replacement process.

Please visit the USCIS website for further information.

I have a green card, but I’m only going back to the United States for a short visit.  What do I do?

If you were a Lawful Permanent Resident (green card holder) and you have been outside the United States for longer than twelve months, or two years, if holding a re-entry permit, you will be required to either apply for a visitor visa, or if eligible, travel visa free under the Visa Waiver Program.

I have a Permanent Resident Card (green card) and I no longer wish to live in the United States; what do I do?

If you no longer plan or wish to reside in the United States, and you are traveling back to the United States on a direct flight from Dublin or Shannon, you may formally abandon your status by completing the form I-407 (Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Residence) with a U.S. Customs and Border Protection Officer at U.S. Immigration Pre-Clearance.  Please give yourself extra time in your travel to go through this process.

However, if you do not plan to travel to the United States any time soon and wish to abandon your legal permanent residence, you must submit your green card and a fully completed I-407 by mail to the USCIS Eastern Forms Center in Williston, Vermont.

The Form I-407 will no longer be accepted by international field offices.

Individuals submitting the I-407 to the Eastern Forms Center must include their Permanent Resident Card (I-551 or “green card”), if available, along with any other travel documents issued by USCIS.  Individuals should not turn in identity documents that were not issued by USCIS.  Additional filing information is available on

The Form I-407, Record of Abandonment of Lawful Permanent Resident Status, should be mailed to the following address:

USCIS Eastern Forms Center
Attn: I-407 Unit
Post Office Box 567
Williston, VT 05495



The U.S. Embassy Dublin does not accept I-407 applications. Please do not mail your green card and/or I-407 form to the U.S. Embassy in Dublin as this will delay notification to USCIS.

If you choose to abandon your legal permanent residence and wish to travel to the United States in the future, you may apply for entry through the Electronic System for Travel Authorization (ESTA)/Visa Waiver Program if you meet the eligibility requirements available for review here.

If your ESTA is authorized, then no visa is required.  If you do not qualify for ESTA or your ESTA is not authorized, then you will need to apply for a visa.  Please find information and instructions here.

How long can I remain outside the United States with my Legal Permanent Resident Card (green card)?

You will maintain status provided you do not remain outside the United States for longer than one year and you maintain a bona fide domicile in the United States.  Failure to return to the United States within one year may jeopardize permanent resident status.  If you are in possession of a valid re-entry permit issued by the USCIS, you must return to the United States before the permit expires.  You should be aware, however, that the final determination on your eligibility for admission into the United States rests with the U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the port of entry.  If you have been outside the United States for less than twelve months and you require further information please follow this link to the USCIS website and also visit the U.S. Customs and Border Protection website for information regarding  – Can a U.S. lawful permanent resident of the U.S. leave multiple times and return?.

What if I have been outside the United States for longer than twelve months?

If you are not in possession of a valid re-entry permit, or your re-entry permit has expired, you will require a new immigrant visa to re-enter the United States to resume your residence there.

Can I renew my Alien Card “green card” if I haven’t been in the U.S. for a number of years?

Please visit the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) website for information on maintaining permanent resident status.


If your inquiry is case specific and your file has been transferred to Dublin, please contact us through our  online contact form.  Please include your case number (e.g. DBL2016XXXXXX). Failure to do so will delay our response.

We aim to respond to visa inquiries within 3 working days of receipt.  If you have not had a response within 3 working days, please check your email provider’s “spam” folder, BEFORE re-sending an email. Please note, however, that if the answer to your inquiry is on our website or general in nature, you will not receive a response.

The Embassy in Dublin cannot respond to general Immigrant visa inquiries. If you still have a question, please click here.