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.

All immigrant visa cases in Djibouti must have a medical exam on file at the embassy before a National Visa Center (NVC) appointment will be honored or before a missed appointment, legacy Sana’a case, or follow-to-join case may be rescheduled.  Neither the embassy nor the panel physician bears responsibility for a canceled appointment if an applicant fails to appear for a medical exam in Djibouti at least ten business days before an interview.

Allow at least ten business days prior to an NVC appointment date to complete a medical exam in Djibouti by evidencing a DS-260 confirmation.  If you cannot complete a DS-260 application for yourself or a family member, please notify the embassy by emailing and attaching a copy of the biographic page of the passport.

Due to the addition of a new medical supply VAT in Djibouti, the price of medical exams for children (under the age of 15) and adults have increased by 5,000 DJF to 25,000 DJF and 55,000 DJF, respectively.  These prices (140 USD and 310 USD equivalent) fall within the median price of medical exams for U.S. immigrant visas worldwide.  If an applicant must repeat a medical exam in Djibouti due to administrative processing lasting more than six months, the applicant will receive a 10,000 DJF reduction in the price of a repeat exam, so long as the applicant visits the same panel physician as before.

The U.S. Embassy in Djibouti does not assist applicants with entry into Djibouti.  Djibouti is a sovereign country and has the right to restrict entry to those U.S. visa applicants who will comply with host country laws and regulations.  If an applicant cannot travel to Djibouti due to visa or transportation difficulties, the U.S. Embassy in Djibouti will work with other U.S. embassies and consulates around the world to ensure the case is processed elsewhere.  However, an applicant must first request a change of venue with the U.S. embassy to which s/he desires the case be transferred.

Emailing is no longer considered a “substantive step” to halt the termination of a case under U.S. Immigration and Nationality Act Section 203(g).  The only substantive step is completing a medical exam in Djibouti.  However, the U.S. Embassy will continue to provide third country nationals the benefit of the doubt and reinstate their cases if a medical exam is completed in Djibouti within a year of case termination.

There is no need to request a separate appointment for a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) and/or passport application by email if a spouse or child is applying for an immigrant visa in Djibouti.  The US citizen parent should bring the additional child in need of the passport and/or CRBA to the scheduled immigrant visa appointment together with the family member applying for the immigrant visa.  The entire family will be allowed to enter the consular section in order to file any necessary paperwork simultaneously.

After an interview, follow the instructions provided at the interview window and check the case status using the Department of State’s case portal —  Please do not request an expedite of administrative processing until at least 120 days have passed, unless evidence of a serious medical condition was evidenced at the interview.  If provided a 221(g) letter, follow the instructions in this letter as soon as possible using the consular dropbox to furnish any requested evidence so as to not add unnecessary processing time.