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How do I get an immigrant visa number for permanent residency?

An immigrant visa number is necessary for becoming a permanent resident. Since the United States limits the availability of immigrant visa numbers both by year, and by country, those hoping to live in Louisiana and achieve permanent residency may feel frustrated with the process if they do not receive a number soon after applying. There is also a preference system for these numbers, so it is a good idea for a person to understand which preference he or she falls into.

Immigrant visa numbers are not something that people directly apply for. Instead, a relative or employer will first send a visa petition to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services on another person's behalf. Once approved, the petition is sent to the Department of State's National Visa Center. The visa petition then stays at the Center, and the individual will be contacted once an immigration visa number is available. 

For potential employees, waiting on a number can be frustrating. Visa petitions are processed and approved by date of filing. This means that even if a person is considered high on the preference list, he or she must still wait until other applications have been processed first. The process is different for immediate family members of current U.S. citizens. These individuals receive priority for immigration visa numbers, and receive them after the USCIS approves their visa petitions.

The immigration process is a significant undertaking. Immigrants who hope to make Louisiana their home through permanent residency usually have to deal with complicated applications and long waiting times. However, those who have a better understanding of the process might feel more confident in their decisions as they move forward.

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