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Immigrant Visas

A Message to Our Consular Clients

Please be advised that Embassy Tripoli's Immigrant Visa services have been temporarily suspended.  We hope to resume them sometime in 2014.  Please monitor our website for information on resumption of service.  We regret the inconvenience and thank you for your patience as we work to resume services in the near future.

Visa Services

Because we are currently unable to provide Immigrant visa services in Libya, the U.S. Department of State has officially designated U.S. Consulate Casablanca as the processing post for Libyan visa applicants resident in Libya.  Please visit their website for more information:  If you are a Libyan citizen but reside outside of Libya, you are welcome to apply for a U.S. visa at the Embassy or Consulate nearest your residence.

For short and temporary visits to the United States, use the links on the left to visit the Non-Immigrant Visa Section for more information. 

If you want to become a permanent legal resident of the United States, please use the links on the left to visit the Immigrant Visa Section for further information on our services.

General Information

Libyan nationals are advised that U.S. Embassy Tripoli is unable to process immigrant visas.  U.S. Consulate Casablanca will accept immigrant visa applications from Libyan nationals.   

Immigrants to the United States are divided into two categories:

  1. those who may obtain permanent residence status without numerical limitation, and 
  2. those subject to an annual limitation.

The second category is further divided into:

  • family-sponsored, 
  • employment-based, and 
  • diversity immigrants.

Note that as of November 23, 2010, the fee schedule for the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will change.  Please consult the updated fee schedule at the USCIS website.

Immigrant Visas without Numerical Limitation

Immediate Relatives 

The spouse, widow(er) or minor unmarried children of a U.S. citizen, or the parents of a U.S. citizen who is 21 years of age or older.

Returning Residents 

Previous U.S. Lawful Permanent Residents (LPR) who return to the United States after a stay of more than one year abroad.  Click here for additional information on how to apply for a Returning Visa at consular section.

Limited Immigrants

Since 1995, immigration into the United States has been limited to 675,000 persons per year.  That figure is divided into three distinct sub-categories.


Preference relatives may receive all of the visas not used by Immediate Relatives, but no less than 226,000 visas per year.  Family-based preference categories (with minimum limits in parentheses) include:

  1. First Preference:  Unmarried sons and daughters under 21 of U.S. citizens and their children. (23,400)
  2. Second Preference:  Spouses, children, and unmarried sons and daughters under 21 of lawful permanent resident aliens. (114,200)
  3. Third Preference:  Married sons and daughters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children. (23,400)
  4. Fourth Preference:  Brothers and sisters of U.S. citizens and their spouses and children, provided the U.S. citizens are over 20. (65,000)


Employment-based visas require a labor certification from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL), and the filing of a petition with the Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services in the Department of Homeland Security (BCIS).  For more information on employment based immigrant visas please visit

A total minimum of 140,000 immigrant visas yearly are available for this category which is divided into five preference groups (percent of yearly limit):

  1. Priority Workers:  Persons of extraordinary ability in the sciences, arts, education, business, or athletics; outstanding professors and researchers; and certain multinational executives and managers (28.6%).
  2. Members of the Professions:  Professionals holding advanced degrees and persons of exceptional ability in the sciences, arts, and business (28.6%).
  3. Professionals, Skilled and Unskilled Workers:  Professionals holding baccalaureate degrees, skilled workers with at least two years experience, and other workers whose skills are in short supply in the United States (28.6%).
  4. Special Immigrants:  Certain religious workers, ministers of religion, certain international organization employees and their immediate family members, and qualified, recommended current and former U.S. government employees. (7.1%).
  5. Investors:  Persons who create employment for at least 10 unrelated persons by investing capital in a new commercial enterprise in the United States.  The minimum capital required is between $500,000 and $1,000,000, depending on the employment rate in the geographic area (7.1%).

Diversity Immigrant Visa Lottery

The Diversity Lottery provides a maximum of 55,000 immigrant visa numbers annually to applicants selected at random from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States.  Information on registration for the lottery is announced each year by the State Department, and applicants are required to register each year for the lottery (prior registrations are not carried over to the following year). Please consult the official U.S. State Department website for more information at:

A Message to our Libyan Clients

Office of Consular Affairs

The U.S. Embassy in Tripoli plans to begin offering Nonimmigrant Visa services to the general public in the coming months. Once we identify a specific date for the opening, we will post it here and begin offering visa appointment slots. The information below is provided for you to start planning for your visa application. We are not yet accepting Immigrant or Fiancé visas but we hope to do so later this year.

The consular section will not be available by phone in the weeks immediately before and after the opening. We will respond to email inquiries sent to as soon as possible, usually within a few business days.

Calls to the American citizen emergency number should not be used to ask questions about visa issues. This line is reserved for emergencies involving American citizens ONLY and cannot be used, even by American citizens, for visa inquiries. No visa information will be provided on this number.

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