Skip Global Navigation to Main Content
Skip Breadcrumb Navigation
Immigrant Visas

General Information about Immigrant Visas

Immigrating to the United States permanently is an important and complex decision. In general, in order to be eligible to apply for an immigrant visa, a foreign citizen must be sponsored by a U.S. citizen or legal permanent resident relative(s), or by a prospective employer.

Foreign citizens wishing to immigrate to live permanently in the United States must comply with U.S. immigration law and specific procedures to apply for their visas.

By U.S. immigration law, immigrants to the United States are divided into two general categories:

Non-numerical limited immigrants:

  • Immediate Relatives of United States Citizens: The spouse and minor unmarried children of a United States citizen, and the parent of a United States citizen who is over the age of twenty-one.
  • Returning Residents: Those immigrants who have lived in the United States previously, as lawful permanent residents, and are returning to their un-relinquished residence in the United States after a temporary visit of more than one year abroad.

Numerical Limited immigrants: 

Family-based preference categories subject to numerical limitation are:

  • First Preference: Unmarried sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their children.
  • Second Preference: Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters of a lawful permanent resident alien. NOTE: At least seventy-seven percent (77%) of all visas available for this second-preference category will go to the spouses and children; the remainder will be allocated to unmarried sons and daughters.
  • Third Preference: Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children.
  • Fourth Preference: Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens, and their spouses and children.

                  Visit the following link for more information on Family-based immigration.

Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States. Immigrant visa applicants are encouraged to visit the following link to obtain more information about their rights : http://travel.state.gov/visa/temp/pamphlet/pamphlet_5725.html.

Please contact the Consular Section if you have questions.

Requirements for Adoptions

  • The High Court / Tribunal de Grande Instance have exclusive jurisdiction over adoptions in Cameroon. To satisfy U.S. visa requirements, adoptions must be full and final adoptions approved by a High Court / Tribunal de Grande Instance in accordance with Cameroon law. If the adoption decree was issued by a lower court/Tribunal de Premier Instance, the petition cannot be approved and will be returned to the USCIS.