In response to significant worldwide challenges related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of State has temporarily suspended routine visa services at all U.S. Embassies and Consulates. Embassies and consulates have canceled all routine immigrant and nonimmigrant visa appointments as of March 20, 2020. We will resume routine visa services as soon as possible but are unable to provide a specific date at this time. Please visit the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs website for notices which contain detailed information about the current status of visa services worldwide and visa restrictions related to the COVID-19 global pandemic.
Once your case is documentary complete, the consular section will notify you and/or the petitioner by e-mail, or by mail, on how to schedule a visa appointment date. Follow the instructions in the e-mail on how to schedule your appointment. DO NOT schedule an interview date before receiving specific instructions to do so, as it will otherwise be cancelled. Furthermore, you will face difficulties in rescheduling your interview date when using the same fee receipt number in the appointment system.
Once you have received an email from our office, follow the below steps:
Before the Interview
Rights and Protections for Foreign-Citizen Fiancé(e)s of U.S. Citizens
You (The Visa Applicant) must read the Information on the Legal Rights Available to Immigrant Victims of Domestic Violence in the United States and Facts about Immigrating on a Marriage-Based Visa. Failure to read this information may delay processing of your visa.
Each visa applicant, regardless of age, is required to undergo medical examination by the authorized panel physicians of the U.S. Embassy. You must read the information on the panel physicians’ website, and fill out the medical examination form, under “Apply for an Appointment”, and submit the form to one of the panel physicians three weeks prior to your visa interview appointment date (or immediately after you learn your visa interview date). The panel physician office will email you via the same email the medical appointment date. The applicant is responsible for the cost of the examination. A medical examination is also required for each accompanying child. You should bring the appointment letter with you on the day of the medical examination.
You may read the Medical Examination FAQs by visiting the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs web page “Medical Examination.”
Note: The validity of your visa will be limited to the validity of your medical report. Medical reports classified as “Class B (TB)” are valid for 3 months from the date on which the doctor signed the report. All other medical reports classified as “No apparent disease or defect” are valid for 6 months after the date on which the doctor signed the report. If your case is subject to further administrative processing, or if the processing of your file is delayed due to missing documents, the medical report may expire before your visa is issued. In that case, you will be required to renew the medical examination and submit an updated medical report to the Consular Section before you receive your visa.
You must submit your medical report to this office at the time of your interview, unless specifically instructed by our office to mail it prior to your interview date. Do not bring the X-ray CD to the Embassy.
Scheduling Your Interview
Follow the instructions provided in the e-mail sent to you on how to register for DHL, pay the fiancé(e) visa fee and schedule an appointment. Any appointment date scheduled before notification from the Consular Section will be CANCELLED.
Effective September 12, 2014, the fee for the Fiancé(e) Visa is $265.00 per person. Since the fees are subject to change, please visit the Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs web page “Fees for Visa Services” for updated information on visa fees.
Print out the appointment letter and take it to the Embassy on the date of your visa appointment.
Appearing For Your Interview (Security Information)
The following items are not permitted in the Consular Section: cell phones, iPods, photo or video cameras, electronics such as radios, portable CD players or other equipment, including computers. Please do not bring any type of electronic equipment. Please do not bring large or bulky bags to the Consular Section, as there is no storage space for them. We recommend that you don’t bring any unnecessary items with you in your bag on the day of the interview as this may delay your security screening.
After the Interview
After your personal interview with the Consular Officer, provided that your file is documentary complete and you are found qualified for the visa, your visa will be issued and sent together with the visa packet via DHL courier service to the DHL branch you chose when registering for DHL courier service. DHL will notify you by e-mail when you may go and pick up your passport from their office.
Important: Do not open the brown envelope containing the visa packet; otherwise you will not be able to travel. You must notify us via e-mail at TiranaUSConsulate@state.gov in such a situation.
Note: If you haven’t received your visa within 15 business days from the date when your passport has been delivered to us for visa issuance, you may contact our office at TiranaUSConsulate@state.gov. Do not make any travel arrangements for departure until the visa has been delivered to you.
Some visa applications may require:
- Additional documents:
When additional documents are requested, the Consular Officer will provide you with a refusal letter which lists all the missing documents. Only the items that are marked off on the list apply in your case. Please note that the Consular Officer may use the Albanian language to explain the documents required by the applicant, and English language to explain the documents required by the sponsor. Therefore, you may have to send a copy of the refusal letter by fax or email to the sponsor. It is strongly recommended that you send all the requested documents at once; otherwise, the processing of your case may take more time.
- Further administrative processing:
A further administrative processing 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 individual circumstances of each case. Before making inquiries about the status of administrative processing, applicants or their representatives will need to wait for at least 60 days from the date of the visa interview or from the date of submission of supplemental documents, whichever is the latest.
No assurance can be given in advance that a visa will be issued. A consular officer can make a decision only after reviewing the formal application with all the documents, and after conducting a personal interview with the applicant.
Visa applicants should not make any travel arrangements for departure, dispose of personal property or make other life changes until the visa has been issued and delivered to you. This office will make every effort to expedite the visa processing. However you must be aware that there may be complications with the processing of your visa case as applicants may be required to return to this office or to submit additional information/documentation.
Section 203(g) of the U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act requires that an intending immigrant pursue his/her visa application within one year from the date he or she is informed that it is possible to do so. If you fail to do so within one year from the date of notice, your application and any visa petition approved for you will be cancelled.
Visa Approval - When You Receive Your Visa
Passport with Visa
Your immigrant visa will be placed on a page in your passport. Please review the printed information right away to make sure there are no errors. If there are any spelling errors, contact the Consular Section promptly via e-mail at TiranaUSConsulate@state.gov with detailed information regarding the error.
Sealed Immigrant Packet
You will also receive a sealed packet containing documents that you must present to U.S. Customs and Border Protection at a port-of-entry (often an airport) upon your arrival in the United States. You must not open the sealed packet; it must be hand-carried. CD of X-rays must be hand-carried with you, not packed in your luggage.
When You Should Travel
You must arrive and apply for admission in the United States no later than the visa expiration date printed on your visa; failure to do so will result in the loss of your immigrant status. An immigrant visa is usually valid for up to six months from the date of issuance unless your medical examination expires sooner, which may make your visa valid for less than six months. Do not travel outside of USA until you receive your Permanent Resident Card. Your visa cannot be extended beyond its expiration date, and all visa fees paid are nonrefundable. If, for any reason, you could not use your visa, you must return it to the Consular Section of the U.S. Embassy in Tirana. Another visa may be issued if you are able to prove that you did not travel to the U.S. for reasons beyond your control.
Entering the United States
When traveling to the United States, the primary (or principal) applicant must enter before or at the same time as family members with visas. Children, who turn 21 years old after visa issuance, must travel to the United States before they turn 21 years old; otherwise they will lose their immigrant status. With your immigrant visa (before it expires), and sealed packet, you will travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (often an airport) and request permission to enter the United States.
Form I-551, Permanent Resident Card (Green Card)
Your green card, will be mailed to the address in the United States that is written in your application forms. This is a very important document, which will serve as proof that you have permission for permanent residency and gives you the opportunity to stay and enter the USA without a visa. See USCIS web page “Welcome to the United States” for more information.
Your green card has a conditional status. You must get married within 90 days of being admitted to the U.S. on your fiance(e) visa. To remove conditions, Form I-751 must be submitted to USCIS within 90 days prior to the end of the two-year conditional permanent resident period. Both spouses file the form jointly, unless an exception applies.
Children are required to have certain vaccinations before they can enroll in school in the United States. Therefore, it is recommended that your child have complete vaccination records before immigrating (the vaccination copy panel physician provided you). Learn about vaccination requirements on the Department of Health and Human Services’ Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) web page “State Vaccination Requirements”.
For New Immigrants – Welcome to the United States
For a guide concerning new immigrants to the United States, please visit the USCIS web page “Welcome to the United States“.
After being issued the Permanent Resident Card, you should stay abroad for less than one year, otherwise you will be considered to have lost your status of Legal Permanent Resident. For more information on the rights and responsibilities as Legal Permanent Residents, please visit the USCIS web page “Maintaining Permanent Residence”.
Should you have questions regarding your Permanent Resident Card, or if you did not receive your card within a certain time, please contact USCIS directly.
VISA FRAUD IS A SERIOUS OFFENSE. ATTEMPTS TO MISREPRESENT A MATERIAL FACT OR MISLEAD A CONSULAR OFFICER MAY JEOPARDIZE CURRENT AND FUTURE VISA APPLICATIONS.