Frequently Asked Questions - Visa Immigration

  1. Q: What is the processing time to receive a response?
    A: It depends on the method of fingerprint submission. Live scan can take approximately 2-3 days, while fingerprint hard cards (FD 258) can take up to 2-4 weeks to process.
  2. Q: Can the initial response (letter with no state seal and signature) I received from the California Department of Justice (DOJ) Visa/Immigration Unit be used for my Apostille process?
    A: No. You will need to contact the Visa/Immigration Unit at and request a certified letter or original (wet) signature that includes the state’s official seal and original signature.
  3. Q: How can I get a certified letter on my initial response as well as the Apostille?
    A: To request a certified letter, contact the Visa/Immigration Unit at For information on the Apostille process, visit the California Secretary of State’s website at
  4. Q: What happens if I submitted fingerprints for the Record Review background check instead of the Visa/Immigration?
    A: If you submitted fingerprints for Record Review by mistake, you will have to submit your fingerprints again, following the steps listed on the Visa/Immigration web page at The Record Review background check is not to be used for immigration, visa, employment, licensing or certification purposes pursuant to Penal Code section 11125.
  5. Q: What if I think the criminal history response I received from the Visa/Immigration Unit is incorrect?
    A: If you think the information contained in your criminal history response is incorrect, you must go through the record review process to address any issues with your criminal history. For more information go to or contact the Record Review Unit at 916-227-3849 or at
  6. Q: If I do not have access to an original FD 258 card, can I download the form from the FBI website?
    A: No. The DOJ can only accept an original FD 258 fingerprint card. You can request an FD 258 fingerprint card to be mailed to you by contacting the Visa/Immigration Unit at
  7. Q: Can the response I receive from DOJ be mailed to an attorney, US Citizenship Immigration and Services (USCIS), friend or family member?
    A: All responses will be mailed to the applicant. It is the applicant’s responsibility to forward any responses to the requesting agency or a law firm. We do not mail responses directly to foreign consulates, embassies or the USCIS.
  8. Q: Can I pick up my response(s) and get a certified letter in person?
    A: No, responses are normally sent via U.S. Postal standard mail.
  9. Q: Can I expedite the Visa/Immigration process?
    A: No.
  10. Q: Who can I contact if I have additional questions regarding the Visa/Immigration process?
    A: You can email the Visa/Immigration Unit at or call 916-210-4239. Para hablar con un representante que habla Espanol, llame al 916-210-4282.