Immigrant Visas: Family-Based Immigration

Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of U.S. immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  You may wish to review our Directory of Visa Categories  on to learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas, as well as other types of immigrant visas to the United States, including our Diversity Visa Program.

To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visa, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process on  Once you have completed those steps, review the instructions given to you by the National Visa Center (NVC), along with the information presented on this website, for further guidance and instructions.

Filing a Petition in Algeria – Exceptional Circumstances

Petitioners residing in Algeria must file their Form I-130, Petition for an Alien Relative, with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) lockbox facility in Chicago.

USCIS may authorize the Department of State to adjudicate their case in certain emergency situations, for example:

  • A U.S. service member stationed overseas becomes aware of a new deployment or transfer with very little notice.
  • A petitioner or beneficiary is facing an urgent medical emergency that requires immediate travel.
  • A petitioner or beneficiary is facing an imminent threat to personal safety.
  • A beneficiary is within a few months of aging out of eligibility.
  • The petitioner and family have traveled for the immigrant visa interview, but the petitioner has naturalized and the family member(s) require a new, stand-alone petition.
  • The petitioner adopted a child and there is an imminent need to leave the country.
  • A U.S. citizen petitioner, living and working abroad, receives a job relocation within the same company or subsidiary to the United States, or an offer of a new job in the United States with very little notice.

Petitioners residing in Algeria for more than one year who believe that their situation qualifies as an emergency may request an exception to allow a U.S. Embassy in Algiers to accept the filing.  Each request will be evaluated individually by USCIS in Rome, Italy. The petitioner is required to follow the steps below:

  • Provide a detailed explanation of why their case merits an exception and include any paperwork in support of this.
  • Provide a copy of the signed I-130.
  • Each request will be evaluated individually.
  • The petitioner should request an appointment through the following email address: