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Immigrant Visas

If a Visa is Approved

Passport Returned

Your visa will be placed in your passport and mailed to you together with a sealed envelope – your IV packet. There is no pick-up at the Consulate. All passport delivery is conducted through a courier service, DHL. Please consult the U.S. Visa Service website and follow instructions for an "IV Applicant Needing to Register for DHL".

Ensure that you have provided a valid email address when registering; DHL will notify you via email when your passport and visa packet are picked up, and you can track progress on-line. The Consulate is not responsible for losses or damages that may occur to the correspondence, and cannot track packages once they are submitted to DHL.

Each applicant must register separately to receive his own passport with the visa and the IV packet. Each applicant's documents are sent separately; each family member, for example, will receive his/her own passport and IV packet in a separate envelope. Passports and additional documents will be returned to applicants in sealed envelopes via the courier service approximately five working days after a Consular officer approves the immigrant visa application. Along with the passport you will receive a manila envelope which contains all the documents that you submitted in your visa interview.

Please do not make firm travel plans, such as buying a ticket or scheduling events, until you have your visa and IV packet in hand. The Consulate General will make every effort to process your visa promptly. However, we cannot guarantee issuance or delivery by a specific date, and cannot be responsible for any costs you may incur.

Entering the U.S. with your Immigrant Visa

You can open the plastic DHL envelope, but do not open the sealed IV packet in the manila envelope. You must hand-carry this unopened packet when you travel to the United States. The only person that has the authority to open the envelope is the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Officer at your first Port of Entry into the U.S.

In general the Immigrant Visa is valid for 180 days. You must enter the U.S. before the expiration date indicated on the visa. Only in exceptional cases will we be able to issue another visa if you do not enter the United States before the expiration date.

Note: If for any reason you are unable to use your visa, you are requested to return it to this office. Failure to return an unused visa may result in an unnecessary delay in the issuance of a visa to another qualified applicant. Your cooperation in this regard will enable this office to issue visas to all applicants promptly. Should you desire to reapply for an immigrant visa, every possible consideration will be given to granting you the benefit of your original priority date on the waiting list.

You must give your unopened manila visa package to the U.S. Immigration Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) at the border or airport. The USCIS Officer will open your package and conduct an independent review before admitting you into the United States. This normally requires you to be directed to a separate area. This process can take some time to complete depending on the volume of traffic at the port-of-entry that day. Please plan accordingly when booking or chose other means of transportation to your final destination, such as ground transportation.

The dependents of a "Preference" Immigrant Visa or a K visa may accompany the principal beneficiary, or enter the U.S. after the principal beneficiary has already entered, but never before the principal beneficiary. You are a "dependent" if you did not have a separate IV case number file (the ‘MTL number"), and are together on the same petition.

At your first Port-of-Entry in the U.S., the USCIS Officer will retain your visa package and will place an ADIT (admission) stamp into your passport. The USCIS officer can answer questions about when and how you will receive your green card. Until you receive your green card, your ADIT stamp is your proof of legal residency in the United States and you can immediately live, work and study in the U.S. USCIS office will mail your physical green card to the address that you provided in the Sworn Statement (form DS 230-I, box 11).

Please visit the USCIS website for complete information on responsibilities, requirements and resources for entry to and after you have been admitted to the United States with an immigrant visa.

Please click here for detailed information on orphan adoption visas.

K1/K2 - Fiancé visas

The fiancée visa is valid for 180 days and allows you only one (1) entry into the United States. In very exceptional cases only, we will be able to issue another visa if you do not enter the United States before the expiration date. Please contact us through our public inquiry form to know how to proceed. Upon entry, you have ninety (90) days to get married. After your marriage you and your spouse must contact the closest USCIS office to adjust your status from fiancée to spouse of an American citizen. Please visit the USCIS website for contacts and additional information.

Further Inquiries

For questions about the return of your visa packet (e.g. "When will I get my visa packet?" "Where will the packet be sent?"), please contact the Visa Information Service.

For questions after you have received your visa packet but before you travel to the U.S. (e.g. "There is a mistake on the visa." "What do I do if I can't travel as planned?"), please contact the U.S. Consulate General Montreal.

For questions after you enter the U.S. with your immigrant visa (e.g. "How do I get a Green Card?" "Can I leave the U.S. before I have a Green Card?"), please visit the USCIS website.