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Immigrant Visas

Immigrant Visa Inquiries

Immigrant Visas' General Categories

Immigrant visas are issued to individuals traveling to the United States to take up permanent residency. According to U.S. immigration law, persons eligible to immigrate to the United States are divided into three general categories:

  1. direct relatives of citizens, such as parents, spouses, brothers, sisters, sons, daughters and direct relatives of legal resident aliens, such as spouses and unmarried sons and daughters;
  2. beneficiaries of an approved employment-based petition in the U.S.;
  3. people selected at random through a visa lottery.

Please note that since August 15, 2011, USCIS has centralized the filing of the I-130 Petition for an Immediate Relative to the Chicago Lockbox Facility.  Therefore, the United States Embassy in Santiago, Chile, will no longer accept direct filing of the I-130 petition from American Citizens for their immediate family members.

All petitions should be sent to the Chicago address.

Please refer to USCIS Centralizes Filing of Form I-130 for further information.

Medical examination

All immigrant visa applicants should have their vaccination records available for the panel physician's review at the time of the immigrant medical examination. If you do not have a vaccination record, the panel physician will work with you to determine which vaccinations you may need, to meet the requirement.

The panel physician will give the medical examination report directly to you for you to take to the Consular Section on the day of your visa interview. 

The following is the Panel Physician contact information:

  • Dr. Walter Passalacqua 
    Maria Luisa Santander #0281 (Metro Estacion Baquedano) 
    Phone: 56-22-204-7071  56-22-225-3891

Effective June 1, 2012

The U.S. Embassy in Santiago would like to announce the following changes to Immigrant Visa process that may affect relatives of U.S. citizens residing in Chile.

Effective June 01, 2012, all immigrant visa applicants will be required to present completed medical exams in a sealed envelope at the time of their visa interview.  Applicants who appear at their immigrant visa interview without their medical exams will be asked to reschedule their immigrant visa appointment.

Starting June 01, 2012 all medical examinations will be valid for ONLY six months instead of twelve months.  Immigrant visas cannot be approved if the medical examination has expired.

Additional information on examination exams can be found on the websites for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the U.S. Department of State and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

Final Interview

The visa applicant appears at the Embassy at the designated interview time, with all supporting documents. A consular officer conducts an interview to determine eligibility for the visa. If all documents are in order and the applicant is eligible, a visa can be issued, usually within one week. The visa will be sent to the applicant by courier (DHL) paid at the embassy on the final interview date. After receiving the immigrant visa, the applicant may travel to the U.S. where he or she presents the sealed immigrant visa packet to the Immigration officer at the port of entry, and applies for a green card (permanent resident).

The status of permanent resident is for individuals who reside in the United States on a permanent basis. Prolonged periods spent living outside of the U.S. may cause one to lose permanent resident status. A period of over one year spent living outside of the U.S. automatically causes a loss of permanent resident status unless the resident hasobtained authorization (re-entry permit) from BCIS (formerly INS) in the United States. The Embassy cannot issue re-entry permits not make extensions to a green card.

The adjudication process for immigrant and fiancée visas generally takes  2-4 months approximately from the time of the initial application.

Important: Non-Immigrant visas (tourist, business, transit, etc.) require that the bearer have no intention of immigrating to the U.S. Consequently, having an immigrant visa application pending may cause the applicant to lose his or her status for non-immigrant visas already issued. Immigrant visa applicants who travel to the U.S. on a non-immigrant visa may be denied entry. Final determination of this is made by the BCIS (formerly INS) at the port of entry.

Specific inquiries about petitions that are not answered at the embassy web site may be made via email to or by typewritten fax, to (56-2) 330-3005. Due to the heavy volume of inquiries it usually takes about 2 weeks to receive a reply. Please refrain from sending duplicate messages within the 2-week time frame. Inquiries about subjects that are covered on this web site will not receive a reply.

Important note to Immigrant Visa applicantsBeginning September 1, 2013 the Immigrant Visa application previously known as DS-230 will change to an electronic format in its version DS-260 and it can be found at

Spanish Language Immigrant Visa Information on Travel.State.Gov


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