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Family-Based Immigration

Two groups of family-based immigrant visa categories, immediate relatives and family preference, are provided under the provisions of United States immigration law, specifically the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA).  You can learn more about these two categories of immigrant visas on usvisas.state.gov.

To apply for an immediate relative or family preference immigrant visas, follow the steps on the Immigrant Visa Process on usvisas.state.gov.  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.

Preparing for your interview

The U.S. Embassy in Laos will TURN AWAY immigrant visa (IV) applicants who have not brought ALL the required documents to their interview and have not uploaded ALL the required documents to CEAC.

On the scheduled interview date, the beneficiary should appear at the Embassy with the appointment letter and other supporting documents. Beneficiaries must show their appointment letter and passport to security to enter the Embassy.

You are responsible for ensuring that all required documents are available at the time of the interview.  Please verify you have all required documents to prevent multiple trips to the Embassy.

When you arrive at the Embassy, you will:

  1. Go through security.
  2. Take an oath and have your fingerprints taken.
  3. Submit all required documents and answer some basic questions.
  4. Pay the appropriate fees if you haven’t paid already.  If you’re not sure whether you paid the fee, please bring money to the interview.
  5. Interview with an American officer.

You must have both the original Lao and English versions for the documents listed below. We will return the original documents after the interview. Failure to present satisfactory documentation may delay or prevent issuance of your visa.

  1. Pre-Interview Checklist: For cases processed through Consular Electronic Application Center (CEAC), please print out the PRE-INTERVIEW CHECKLIST hereand complete all the items listed in the PRE-INTERVIEW CHECKLIST to make sure you are ready for your interview.  You will be TURNED AWAY and requested to reschedule a new interview if this PRE-INTERVIEW CHECKLIST have not been completed.  You must make sure that 1) You have uploaded ALL the updated documents to CEAC; and 2) You bring to your interview ALL the ORIGINAL/CERTIFIED COPY documents that match with the documents you uploaded to CEAC.
  2. A copy of your Appointment LetterFor Immigrant Visa (IV) applicants, the principal applicant should staple the DS-260 confirmation page under the Appointment Letter.
  3. Confirmation Page of Form DS-260 [for Immigrant Visa (IV) applicants] or Form DS-160 (for K Nonimmigrant visa applicants).
  4. Visa Photos: Two (2) full face color photos for each applicant taken within 6 months.  Write the applicant’s name and date of birth on the back of each photo.  Please visit the Department of State’s website for more information on visa photo requirements.
  5. Passport(s): original, not damaged.  The passport(s) should be valid for at least 60 days beyond the validity of the visa.
  6. Household Registration Book: Original.
  7. Birth Certificates: Original birth certificates (Lao and English) of the petitioner, the applicant, and all children of the principal applicant (even if he or she is not accompanying). The Lao birth certificates must be issued by the district office – not the hospital or the village. If you or any children were adopted, you must submit an official adoption decree.
  8. Marital Status Documents (not required if never married):
    * Marriage certificate if you are married (original).
    * Legal termination of any prior marriages of the petitioner and the beneficiaries. (original or certified copy of divorce decree or death certificate of ex-spouse, if applicable).
  1. Original Police Certificates: Each applicant aged 16 years or over is required to submit a Bai-Cheng-Thod No.3 (Punishment Record) from the People’s Court of each locality where the applicant has lived for at least six months since reaching the age of sixteen except for the United States. Police Certificates must be no more than 12 months old.
  2. Court and Prison Records (if applicable): Certified copy or original. Persons who have been convicted of a crime must obtain a certified copy of each court record and of any prison record, regardless of the fact that they may have benefited subsequently from an amnesty, pardon, or other act of clemency. Court records should include complete information regarding the circumstances surrounding the crime of which the applicant was convicted, and the disposition of the case, including sentence or other penalty or fine imposed.
  3. Medical examination results: Please submit medical examination results or the Information Sheet provided by the panel physician as proof of medical examination completion. If the physician gives you these results in a sealed envelopePLEASE DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE.  Instead, bring it to your visa interview.

The Alliance International Medical Centre in Vientiane is the only medical facilities approved by the U.S. Embassy in Vientiane to conduct medical examinations of visa applicants in Laos. The medical Examination Form DS-2054 and other required forms to complete the examination will be provided at the facilities. The total fee for doctor’s examination, nursing, hospital charges and documentations, the approximately cost $157 – 603USD for persons over 15 years old but increase based on age and medical history. The fees may be paid in U.S. dollars or local currency. For more information, please contact our designated panel physicians below:

The Alliance International Medical Centre is located on Souphanouvong Road, Wattayyaithong Village, Sikhottabong District, Vientiane Capital. Tel: 856-21-513095, or email info@aimclao.com

  1. Evidence of Support: The petitioner and any joint sponsor must submit a complete and signed Form I-864, Affidavit of Supportfor each eligible travelling applicant.  A photocopy of the petitioner and joint sponsor’s IRS tax transcripts and any relevant W-2s must be included.  For further information about required financial documents, please click here.

If an I-864 is submitted by a joint sponsor, he/she must submit proof of his/her legal status such as a copy of his/her U.S. Birth Certificate, U.S. Passport, Naturalization Certificate, or Lawful Permanent Resident Card.

* For K applicants: The petitioner may complete and sign Form I-134, Affidavit of Support for the principal applicant and one copy for each eligible travelling applicant. A photocopy of the petitioner’s IRS tax transcripts and any relevant W-2s must be included.

  1. Evidence of Relationship: You should prepare to present relevant documentation to establish the bona-fides of your relationship with the petitioner and with your derivative family members (if any).

* Fiancé cases (K): Please label and itemize all materials in chronological order and separate them into two groups: before and after engagement. Evidence may include but is not limited to photos, correspondence, phone bills, and other relevant items to assist in demonstrating to the consular officer the credibility of the relationship with the petitioner. Please note that you should remove your photos from albums and bring your loose photos only.

* Spousal cases: Please label and itemize all materials in chronological order and separate them into two groups: before and after marriage. Evidence may include, but is not limited to photos, correspondence, phone bills, and other relevant items to assist in demonstrating to the consular officer the credibility of the relationship with the petitioner. Please note that you should remove your photos from albums and bring your loose photos only.

* If you are the petitioner’s stepchild: The original marriage certificate of the petitioner and your biological parent and a photocopy along with divorce records for any previous marriages of either parent.

* Employment based petitions: Your employer in the U.S. must provide a written statement confirming that the employment initially offered to you is still available. The statement should be on the stationery of the employer’s business organization and must be originally signed and notarized.

* Other cases: Old household registration book, school certificates, old photos, hospital birth records, baptism book, etc. which support the claim of a petitionable relationship.


Forms and Useful Links

Financial Documents


Uploading Documents to the CEAC

  • How to Upload Documents to the CEAC (PDF 2MB)

For marriage-based visa applicants

  • Please see this link to understand the rights and protections for fiancé(e)s and spouses of U.S. citizens and spouses of lawful permanent residents

Photograph Requirements

Two (2) COLOR frontal view photographs for each applicant. Photographs must meet the following requirements:

  • Photos must be 2 x 2 inches (50 x 50 mm)
  • Color photograph
  • White background
  • No borders
  • Applicant must face the camera directly
  • Applicant’s face must cover at least 50% of the area of the photo
  • Both ears must be visible
  • No eyeglasses
  • No earrings
  • No head covering
  • Photo must be recent (taken no more than six months ago)
  • Print name of applicant on the back of the photo

Case Status

At the end of your immigrant visa interview, the consular officer will inform you whether your visa application is approved or denied.

Some visa applications require further administrative processing, which takes additional time after the visa applicant’s interview by a consular officer. Applicants are advised of this requirement when they apply. Most administrative processing is resolved within 60 days of the visa interview. When administrative processing is required, the timing will vary based on the individual circumstances of each case.  You can check the status of your visa application on ceac.state.gov.

If your visa has been denied, you may find useful information on Ineligibilities and Waivers on usvisas.state.gov.

After the Interview

If your visa has been approved, you will be informed how and when your passport and visa will be returned to you.  Carefully review After the Interview on usvisas.state.gov to learn what to do when you receive your visa, entering the United States, paying the USCIS Immigrant Fee, and other important information.