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Assisted Living Facilities (ALF)

Assisted living facilities (ALFs) are non-medical residential settings that provide or coordinate personal and health care services, 24-hour supervision, and assistance for the care of four or more adults who are aged, infirm or disabled. This care may be provided in one or more locations. Non-residential adult facilities are listed under Adult Day Care.

Assisted living facilities are not nursing homes. A nursing home is a facility in which the primary function is the provision, on a continuing basis, of nursing services and health-related services for the treatment and inpatient care of two or more non-related individuals. Nursing homes are regulated by the Virginia Department of Health (VDH). To find a nursing home, visit the VDH website.

Regulations & Code References

New ALF Applicants

Application Process

The Division of Licensing Programs (DOLP) at the Virginia Department of Social Services (VDSS) has a user-friendly and secure on-line application system called the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application.

Before starting the application process, please read through all instructions.

There are four easy steps for applying on-line through VELA:

  1. Save all your required documents for upload into VELA. You may wish to review the list of required application forms that are listed under the bullet "Application Forms."
  2. Review the self-help resources available by accessing the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application(VELA) Quick Reference Guides and the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Instructional Videos sub-headings below.
  3. When you are ready, access the Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application. We recommend that you bookmark the VELA link since you can return to VELA to make changes until the application is submitted. After submission, data cannot be revised.
  4. Register an account to enter the VELA provider portal where you can complete an application. Self-help resources are available on VELA under the Quick Reference Guides tab.

CONTACT: If you have technical problems accessing VELA or completing the application, please e-mail

If you still need to submit a paper application via mail, you may do so by using the Application Forms below.

Pre-application orientation -- We also highly recommend that applicants attend one of our pre-application orientation sessions. Topics covered include the application process, licensing regulations and approvals required by other state agencies. To register for this pre-application orientation, please reach out to your appropriate Licensing field office.

Application Forms

Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Quick Reference Guides

Virginia Enterprise Licensing Application (VELA) Instructional Videos

Current ALF Providers (includes forms)


Documents & Procedures

All Other

Background Investigations


Forms - License Renewal



Additional Resources

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